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‘Less Is More’ – In Meat and Alcohol Reduction

22nd of March 2021

James Keyes, Small Business, Bord Bia - The Irish Food Board

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Reduced meat and alcohol products are those which scale back the percentage of meat / alcohol present in a product. Through merging both traditional offerings with current alternatives, an exciting hybrid has been created to satisfy an emerging demand amongst flexitarian’s, and individuals wishing to reduce meat or alcohol consumption due to ethical, environmental and health / well-being concerns.

The Bord Bia dietary lifestyle report 2021 reported that ‘70% of adults do not adhere to any particular diet or food lifestyle’- this reflects a clear desire for variety, and reluctance to commit to a singular belief among consumers.



Reduced meat products bridge the gap between initial association to new diets and subsequent long term adherence by consumers through a sustainable process – reduction, not avoidance.

26% of UK consumers who don’t eat meat-free foods frequently would do so if they tasted like meat’ (Mintel,2021)

Reduced ranges afford the conscientious consumer the opportunity to address attitude and behaviour gaps when gravitating toward a ‘better for you and all’ (addressing ethical and environmental concerns) balanced diet. Active brands include Meat The Champion (BE) and Hidden Veggies (GB)




Consumers who wish to indulge in alcoholic beverages with limited negative consequences can now avail of more moderate products that provide a viable reduced option. 84% of global consumers are actively trying to reduce or moderate their alcohol intake’ (Kerry Foods, 2021). The compromise and alcohol is diluted, while the hybrid product retains taste and texture profiles, albeit to a lesser extent. Brands operative in the low, not exclusively no alcohol space include CleanCo Gin (UK) and Black Tower (GER)



Opportunity for Irish Suppliers

The over-arching theme underpinning this diverse consumer orientated solution is balance – If marketed effectively this theme can be leveraged to engage consumers. The reduced content proposition encourages inclusivity, communicating an understanding approach that resonates much more effectively with more consumers. This expands the target market beyond those committed to a particular diet. ‘Free from’ products in comparison place demanding constraints on the consumer to eliminate a substance entirely from their diet. Reduced product consumption ignites progress which increases overall satisfaction, driving social impact through a sense of accomplishment.

75% of global consumers say they are likely to buy products that will enhance their sense of emotional wellbeing in the next 12 months’ (Kantar,2017). Reduced ranges don’t require instant perfection - which is not a sustainable or a healthy ambition, but do reward progress along a reduced consumption journey, whatever the underlying motive may be - some or all of the time.

A further source of competitive advantage can be found in reduced products, as ‘meat substitutes can be patented, unlike meat. As such, there is room for new business models and greater margins’ ’ (Euromonitor,2021)


Innovation beyond the ‘all or nothing’ approach within meat and alcohol products and alternatives is now present.

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