Brits shelve New Year’s resolutions today, but are committed to eating veg all year round

  • Britain embracing veg and flexitarianism despite ditching New Year health kicks
  • Tesco records growing appetite for avocado and cucumber, chickpeas and lentils

Today marks exactly two weeks since many of us pledged New Year’s resolutions and it’s also the day most of us will call time on them, as more than half (54%) of those Tesco surveyed1 admitted they usually last two weeks or less with a strict healthy eating resolution. 

However, the research showed that Brits don’t need hard rules to stay healthy, as we are in fact a nation of veg lovers – with almost half (46%) of people eating more vegetables than they did five years ago. 47% have deliberately introduced more vegetables to their plates, citing trying to be healthier (82%), saving money (22%) and reducing their impact on the environment (25%) as the main reasons for upping their intake. Nearly one quarter (24%) are eating more plant-based foods.

Increase in sales of versatile veggies
Tesco sales data shows an increase in public appetite for versatile salad veggies like avocado which has seen a 46% increase in popularity since 2021 and cucumber which has seen an increase of 41%. Sales of products including asparagus, baby corn and leeks have all increased, as have pulse products including tinned chickpeas and lentils, which have soared in popularity since 2021, by 21% and 9% respectively.

Attitudes to veg’s place in a weekly menu has changed dramatically. 45% of people are eating less meat than they were five years ago, with 62% saying they eat no meat at all on two days or more in an average week, showing that Britain is embracing a more ‘flexitarian’ way of eating, despite 38% admitting to having never heard the term before.

60% of households eating three or more vegetables with a roast dinner
Nearly three quarters (73%) say that they now eat more greens, with 68% eating more root veg like carrots and sweet potato, and 62% eating more salad veg such as lettuce and peppers. Even the roast dinner has changed with nearly half (48%) saying their roast dinner involves more veg now and 60% saying they serve three or more different types of vegetables with their Sunday roast, or equivalent family meal. 

Tesco is committed to making healthier diets more accessible and has commissioned the research to highlight that we don’t have to make major changes, or set drastic resolutions to live a little better. 61% of the UK admitted that when they make a small change to their diet – such as committing to a ‘meat free day’ or adding one or more extra portions of fruit or veg to their plate – they’re more likely to stick to it, rather than a major change such as becoming vegan.

Fruit and veg more accessible through Clubcard Prices and Aldi Price Match
To help customers, Tesco has ‘Better Basket’ zones in stores to signpost better choices at affordable prices, helping shoppers to fill their basket with better choices every time they shop, without it costing them more. Tesco also makes fruit and veg more accessible by lowering prices across a selection of fresh produce through Clubcard Prices and Aldi Price Match. Two thirds of products included in Aldi Price Match are healthy, and that’s on top of Fresh 5 giving customers reduced prices on five lines of fresh produce every two weeks. 

Neel Shah, Development Chef at Tesco, said:“Adding veg or pulses to your meals is an affordable way to make them healthier and tastier. Veg is so versatile, whilst pulses such as lentils are an easy and delicious way to pack in nutrients like fibre and protein. Look for the Better Baskets sign in store which make it easy to spot foods that contain one of your five a day or are higher in fibre.
We’re all looking to eat better, especially in January, when we tend to think more about our diet, but it doesn’t have to be a major change to make an impact. It can be as easy as adding one more variety of veg to your Sunday roast, using sweet potatoes for your mash rather than white potatoes, or adding in celery, carrots and courgettes to your pasta sauce. Using leftover vegetables and cutting them up into small pieces can be a great way to sneak a variety of veggies into recipes like sauces, curries and stews – great for kids as keeping them small they don’t notice. It’s the little things that can make a big difference.”
Lynn Youthed, a Tesco colleague, said: “Getting the family to eat more veg and pulses can be tricky, but for me it’s about adding them to meals where there’s already lots of flavour, like pasta bakes or curries. That way it’s really easy, doesn’t cost extra, and I don’t need to spend lots of time in the kitchen either. I’ve always got tinned and frozen veg in the house to add to these meals.” 


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