A bacon sandwich is the cheat meal for some British vegans and vegetarians. Pexels

Half of Britain's self-declared vegans and vegetarians sometimes eat meat.

They admitted to researchers that they occasionally tuck in to a bacon sandwich at the weekend or they might sneak a slice of turkey with a chipolata during Christmas dinner.

Their guilty secret emerged in the annual survey of shopping and eating habits by supermarket Waitrose, which also gives a fascinating insight into the nation's changing tastes.

Despite the occasional lapse by vegetarians, Britain as a whole is moving away from meat, with many people adopting a ‘flexitarian' approach and eating mostly but not exclusively plant-based meals.

The store's report said: “One in eight Brits, almost 13 percent of the population, is now vegetarian or vegan, with a further 21 percent identifying as flexitarian This means that a third of us now have meat-free or meat-reduced diets.

One in eight Brits, almost 13 percent of the population, is now vegetarian or vegan. Flickr

“But half of all those who say they're vegetarian or vegan also eat meat "at weekends", "occasionally" or "on special occasions".'

Asked what they missed most, 41 percent of non-meat eaters said the Sunday roast, 32 percent bacon sandwiches, 29 percent sausages and 18 percent burgers. 

The study also identified the food trends of 2018, which range from aquafaba, the water from tins of chickpeas used as an alternative to egg white, to jackfruit, a ‘sweet and sour' plant in the same family as figs and mulberries. 

* Daily Mail