UK Meat Sales Still Down One Year After Horsemeat Scandal

Written by Katie Vann

horse-meat

It’s been one year since headlines around the world broadcast the scandal about unwitting Britons dined on hamburgers, meatballs, or other beef products that turned out to actually be horse meat.  This incident caused so much outrage at the time that it was soon after reported that consumers in the United Kingdom were eating less meat, and 6% of Britons knew someone who became vegetarian in response to the scandal.

But how did this scandal impact consumers after the news reports slowed down? That question is being explored by media outlets, including The Guardian, which recently reported that beef sales in 2013 were down nearly 3 percent overall. Pork sales also saw a decline.

At the same time, Quorn Foods, a UK-based vegetarian food company, experienced its fastest ever growth with sales rising 13% overall in 2013. And this jump in sales didn’t just spike when the horsemeat scandal was in the news — sales of Quorn were 20% higher in the fourth quarter than during the same time period the year before.

According to Quorn, “a new poll conducted by YouGov at the end of December 2013 suggests that this shift is a legacy of the horsemeat scandal in January 2013, with 21% of those surveyed saying that they eat less meat now than they did a year ago.”

Want to help keep this trend towards vegetarian foods going? Check out and share our online guide to vegetarian and vegan eating: TryVeg.com.

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