Half the Nation Avoiding Their Veggies

Veganize Your Summer BBQ with Madeleine Shaw and Readly

With more of us than ever staying mindful of what we put into our bodies and the environment, 7.2 million Brits (14 percent) are now eating vegetarian or vegan food every day. However, despite the well-known benefits of eating a plant-based diet - it continues to remain a mystery for many. More than 8.2 million (16 percent) of the nation do not know what a vegan meal is, according to the latest research commissioned by Readly.

Digital magazine and newspaper subscription service Readly, worked with YouGov to explore the UK’s meat-free eating habits. And despite the likes of environmental activist Greta Thunberg urging everyone to go vegan for the sake of the planet, the survey of over 2,000 adults has revealed that almost half of Brits (44 percent) never, or very rarely, eat a plant-based meal.

To challenge the way we eat, Readly has teamed up with nutritionist Madeleine Shaw this summer, to provide tips to veganize your summer barbecues - to inspire and encourage the nation to start cooking and eating more plant-based meals.

Nutritional therapist Madeleine Shaw says: “This summer I want to help people make the step over to regularly making plant-based food as simple and delicious as possible, starting by veganizing the nation’s summer barbecue. I am always surprised to hear that despite the many benefits of eating nutrient-rich plant-based meals - for your health and to help the environment - surprisingly few Brits eat it. I find the most common misconception is that people fear a tasteless meal or are overwhelmed on how to change their diet.

“I want to help remove that stigma and show that recipe inspiration can play a key role in staying motivated when ditching meat. It can be super easy to knock up your favourite dish as meat-free - and it may become a household favourite in no time - as many recipes have in my house.” 

How often and why do Brits eat vegetarian or vegan

The survey shows that 14 percent of adults eat vegetarian or vegan food every day and 22 percent a few times a week. Women (17 percent) are more likely to eat it every day, compared to men (11%). The biggest motivations behind our plant-based eating habits are health (23%), environment (13%), animal welfare (12%), superior taste (5%), and economic reasons (3%). For eco-conscious 18-29 year olds, the environment was the biggest reason for choosing to go meat-free, whereas health was the biggest deciding factor for those over 60.

Madeleine continues:“In our house we try to cook a lot of plant-based dishes. To keep the recipes exciting - for me and my partner as well as our young child - I am always on the lookout for new inspiration on what to create next. A lot of my inspiration over the years has come from my travels, but also from those I follow online, and of course from flipping through delicious food magazines. That is why I love using Readly - as I can access tons of recipe options or read up on the latest health and wellness trends on the go all on my phone.”

With Readly providing users with instant access to more than 5,000 magazines and newspapers over their phone, tablet or laptop, the service has seen a surge of interest in food topics and recipes on its platform. With more people cooking at home and looking for recipe inspiration - the readership of its food & drinks category has increased by 44% this year* compared to the same period last year.

Madeleine’s tips to veganize your barbecue - with secret yet simple plant-based swaps

  • Veganize the Classics:Cooking up vegan versions of barbecue classics can be surprisingly simple: black bean patties can make for sensational meatless burgers, jackfruit is a great substitute for pulled pork, and delicious marinated tofu skewerscan replace chicken skewers.
  • Majestic Marinades:Get creative with your vegetables by adding lots of spices and flavour. Unseasoned meat wouldn’t go on the BBQ - and the same goes for your veggies if you want to impress guests. Mouth-watering marinades - easily made up of soy sauce, oil or juice - are a fantastic way to infuse your dishes with flavor that really packs a punch.
  • Packed with Protein: Meat-free doesn’t need to be protein-free - so try plant-based burgers. There’s been lots of innovation in this field - and as a result there are now some gloriously juicy options to try that will leave your guests struggling to differentiate between the real thing.
  • Find Inspiration: Magazines can be an amazing source of recipe inspiration.Explore the recipes across the thousands of magazines and newspapers on the Readly app, including vegetarian and vegan specific titles. There are some spectacular plant-based options to get you inspired for your barbecue - including some of my own tastiest recipes - just search by my name on the app. 
  • Get Fruity: Grilling caramelizes the natural sugars in fruit and transforms it into something truly special - perfect for desserts or using in side dishes like salsa. Almost any fruit can go on the barbecue - as long as it’s fairly firm and not overripe. Grilled peaches are the epitome of summer for me - but you can also flip on the grill melon, pineapple, pears, figs and bananas.

Ranj Begley, Chief Content Officer at Readly, says: “With more and more Brits following a meat-free diet over the last year we’ve seen a huge spike in readership of our vegetarian and vegan titles from amongst the 400 plus food and drink magazines on Readly. Magazines can offer a great source of recipe inspiration - with a wealth of exciting options to keep our taste buds excited - making it easier to stay motivated in staying meat-free.”

Readly offers unlimited "all-you-can-read” access to thousands of digital magazines and newspapers in one app for £7.99 a month. Until 1st August 2021 you can enjoy a free 2-month trial of Readly with this link


About the survey

The survey was conducted by YouGov. A total of 2,219 interviews were conducted among Brits over the age of 18 during the period 12-14 March 2021. 

*Readership of Readly food & drinks category in the UK increased by 44% from February 2020 to 2021.