New Year of the Rabbit: are attitudes towards meat-eating and plant-based substitutes changing?

Samuel TanAPAC Data Journalist / B2B Content Manager
January 18, 2023, 8:01 AM GMT+0

Chinese New Year celebrations have traditionally been about large family gatherings and lots of feasting – with delectable meats from land and sea.

But as mainstream awareness of the environmental and human health impact of eating meat grows, how are attitudes towards meat consumption and plant-based/vegetarian diets changing in Singapore?

What proportion of Singaporeans are looking to actively reduce their meat consumption?

Latest data from YouGov Profiles reveals that as of January 2023, more than a third of Singaporean consumers say they are actively trying to reduce their meat consumption (34%). In contrast, just three in ten are not (30%), while over a third are undecided about altering their level of meat consumption (36%) – indicating that they may at least be considering it.

In general, older Singaporeans are more likely to be keen on reducing their meat intake. Over half of Baby Boomers (55%) and around two in five Gen X consumers (41%) agree they're taking active steps to reduce their meat consumption, compared to around a third of Millennials (32%) and less than a quarter of Gen Z consumers (22%).

Notably, about a third of Singaporeans in each generation remain on the fence when it comes to changing their amount of meat-eating.

Singaporeans who are trying to eat less meat are more likely to shop local and in small quantities than the average consumer. Close to three in five of this segment express a preference for buying from local businesses (58%) and shopping “little and often” as opposed to “big and less often” (59%), compared to less than half of Singaporean consumers in general (40% and 44% respectively).

How open are Singaporeans to substituting their meat products for plant-based alternatives?

Data from YouGov Profiles also shows that about a third of Singaporeans are open to substituting meat products they consume with plant-based alternatives (34%). On the other hand, about the same proportion are currently undecided (34%), while three in ten say they would not do so (30%).

Baby Boomers are relatively more open to plant-based meat substitutes, with more than two in five agreeing (43%) compared to 35-37% of younger Gen Z, Millennial and Gen X consumers. On the flip side, Millennials are least likely to be open to plant-based meat substitutes, with nearly a third closed to the idea, compared to around a quarter for other generations (24-27%).

Singaporeans who are open to replacing traditional meat products with plant-based alternatives are more likely to be early tech adopters and prefer buying small quantities when shopping than the average consumers. Over half of this segment say they are “usually interested in trying the latest technology products, services and apps” (55%) and prefer shopping “little and often” as opposed to “big and less often” (56%), compared to less than half of Singaporean consumers in general (both 44% respectively).

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for Singapore is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender and ethnicity. Learn more about Profiles.

Cover photo by Angela Roma: