More than half of diners would like more meat-free options when eating out and over seven in ten would like more healthy options, a new report has shown.

It comes from a new survey of 1,000 UK consumers from Nestlé Professional called Balancing Plates: Navigating consumer dining demands in 2020.

It also found that the majority (58 per cent) struggle to maintain a healthy diet when eating out of home and over seven in ten would like more nutritional information on menus.

Consumers are also conscious of the sustainability of the food they eat out, with 55 per cent preferring restaurants with better eco-credentials. 

Rohini Alam, Savoury Food Category Manager for Nestlé Professional® said: "The increasing number of flexitarians in the UK reflects the need for more meat-free alternatives. The out of home dining sector has evolved over the past few years, but our research found consumers are still looking for more meat-free options on menus.

The Balancing Plates report was commissioned to celebrate the launch of Nestle's plant-based Garden Gourmet® range. 

Nichola Ludlam-Raine, UK Specialist Registered Dietitian said in the report: "Without compromising on taste, meat-free products offer a healthier alternative. The sector has moved away from rudimentary veggie burgers, to creating meat-substitutes that look, taste and feel like meat.

"This mass market appeal that works for meat-eaters and vegetarians is an important step for the sector as flexitarians, who are looking to reduce their meat consumption, now make up the majority of consumers."