Substitarians, the other generation of flexitarians

Substitarians, the other generation of flexitarians

When the “veganuary” challenge, consisting of preferring a plant-based diet for a month, is over, some will question their new eating habits. If some consumers will take the path of flexitarianism, others could opt for “substitarism”. Explanations.

For many years now, flexitarianism has emerged as a new mode of consumption, not eliminating as in the case of vegetarianism, but reducing meat consumption, whether for environmental, medical or ethical reasons when it is about addressing animal welfare. According to the latest major study on this subject, carried out by Ifop for FranceAgriMer, and dating from 2021, 24% of the French population would be flexitarians while 74% would be omnivores and 1.1% would be pescetarians, i.e. that is, they would not eat meat but still eat fish or seafood. Concretely, it is estimated that 10.6 million French people have reduced their meat consumption.

After reducing the presence of meat, we increase the share of plant-based alternatives

While this challenge for the month of January labeled “veganuary” is a good reminder of the difference between vegetarianism and veganism – the first consists of avoiding meat, fish and seafood while the second excludes all ingredients of animal origin, including honey. and eggs, another path could emerge with a view to adopting new eating habits in order to consume more plants. Rather than taking the prism of meat, why wouldn’t we adopt the angle of plant-based alternatives, and make more of an effort to gradually integrate them into our way of consumption? In this case, you would be a “substitarian”, a term which does not yet exist in the French dictionary but which would be the literal translation of the English word “substitarian”.

This is in fact the term used by a study carried out among the Swiss population by the Swiss distribution giant Coop. Spotted by the Hong Kong media GreenQueen, this survey demonstrates that this trend deserves interest to the extent that 56% of Swiss could be considered “substitarians”. Because 28% eat plant-based alternatives to meat and fish several times a month and 28% occasionally. Not only is the share of the population who have gotten into the habit of eating it for four years significant, i.e. 51%, but it is also up three points compared to 2022. Regarding the profile of these consumers, women are more represented (29% compared to 27% of men), in the wake of flexitarianism which is more practiced by these ladies.

If we compare this new diet to flexitarianism, it is because we find the concept of mixing plant products with foods of animal origin on the same plate. 65% of Swiss people surveyed are in fact concerned. In the same way, motivations are linked to the awareness of acting for the planet, in this case reducing meat consumption (67% of flexitarians and 63% of substitutes).

Vegetarian diet: 10 alternatives to meat

Slide: Vegetarian diet: 10 alternatives to meat