UK consumers increasingly turning to vegetarian food in wake of horse meat scandal, with leading suppliers claiming that demand for meat-free alternatives up as much as 30% as consumers lose trust in processed meat products

LONDON , May 23, 2013 () – More shoppers are buying vegetarian food in the wake of the horse meat scandal.

Leading suppliers claim that the demand for meat–free alternatives has risen by as much as 30 per cent as shoppers lose trust in processed meat products, according to The Grocer, a trade magazine.

The meat–free market has grown by 6.6 per cent to £252.9million as suppliers produce more vegetarian foods to cash in on the trend.

"Any food scandal is bad news for the food industry but, if there was one category that stood to benefit from 'Horsegate', it was meat–free," says the magazine. A survey of more than 2,000 shoppers commissioned by Quorn Foods last month showed that 18 per cent said they had been put off eating meat by the scandal earlier this year.

Quorn Foods says demand for its meat substitute products has increased by up to 20 per cent year–on–year with sales in some shops rising by more than 30 per cent.

The Vegetarian Society reported 40 per cent more traffic to its website during the scandal. A spokesman said: "The scandal has definitely helped to give the category a boost. Consumers feel veggie products are safer than meat alternatives."

(c) 2013 The Telegraph Group Limited, London

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.