Exploring Attitudes Towards Meat Substitutes; Are 'Plant-Based' and 'Cultured' Meat Alternatives Acceptable to Consumers?

Vural Y., Ferriday D., Rogers P.

The The 45th British Feeding and Drinking (BFDG) Group Annual Meeting, Leeds, England, 31 March - 01 April 2021, vol.169, pp.26

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • Volume: 169
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.appet.2021.105483
  • City: Leeds
  • Country: England
  • Page Numbers: pp.26
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: No


Meat consumption is thought to have a detrimental impact on health and the planet. Therefore, a shift towards meat alternatives has been recommended. To understand how meat substitutes are perceived, we conducted two online studies. In Study 1, meat-eaters (N = 96) were presented with six foods (meat, dairy and bakery foods) and rated pleasantness, fullness, satisfaction, healthiness, willingness to pay and disgust on 100-mm visual analogue scales. For each food, slightly different images were counterbalanced with three labels (‘conventional’, ‘plant-based’ and ‘cultured’ for meat products) with a short supporting narrative. Participants were allocated to one quadrant of a balanced design and rated the conventional product and one of the alternatives. The plant-based burger was rated as healthier than the conventional beef burger but there was no difference in disgust. The cultured burger was not rated as healthier than its conventional counterpart and it was expected to be more disgusting. In Study 2 (during the COVID-19 pandemic), we repeated the Study 1 procedures in a new sample of meat eaters (N = 90). Attitudes towards the plant-based burger showed similar pattern to Study 1. However, the cultured beef burger was rated as healthier than its conventional counterpart and the differences in disgust were no longer observed. These findings suggest that plant-based alternatives are acceptable to consumers and cultured meat products have become more acceptable recently.