Consumers still prefer meat than plant-based alternatives, research show

Despite the growth in plant-based meat alternatives like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, consumers still prefer beef over alternatives.

According to Supermarket News, there is a bit of uncertainty about plant-based options for consumers even with the 20% growth in plant-based sells in 2018.

Researchers at the Purdue University surveyed 1,800 United States consumers. They had an option to choose from five different meat options: farm raised beef, plant-based made from pea protein, plant-based made from animal like protein, lab grown, or none.

The study found that 72% of the respondents chose farm raised beef, 16% chose plant-based pea protein, 7% chose plant-based animal like protein and 5% chose lab grown meat. When naming well-known companies in the survey the number jumped from 72% to 80%, possibly signifying some aversion to company brands as well as an issue using the term meat with non-meat products.

Via Supermarket News,

Environment and technology information had minor effects on conditional market shares but reduced the share of people not buying any meat (alternative) options, indicating that information pulled more people into the market.
“These findings suggest that increasing concerns about environment or animal welfare benefits, rather than damaging conventional meat demand, might [instead] pull more consumers into the market for plant- and lab-based alternatives,” the report noted.
Vegetarians, males and younger, more highly educated individuals tended to have relatively stronger preferences for the plant- and lab-based alternatives relative to farm-raised beef.

Currently, plant-based alternatives are still niche and it will take more than just entering the market. It will take some time before plant-based options become a significant part of consumer’s diets.

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