10 stats on consumer meat alternative perceptions

An exclusive survey from Streetbees reveals a range of different consumer issues with plant-based meat alternatives

10 March 2020
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  • Of the 1,042 consumers surveyed, 24% said they consume plant-based meat alternatives a couple of times a week, with 24% eating them a couple of times a month, 21% less than once a month and 23% never eating them.
  • Only 8% of consumers said they consume plant-based meat alternatives every day.
  • 44% said they are eating more plant-based meat alternatives compared to last year.
  • Taste is the main consideration for those who said they eat plant-based meat alternatives (58%), followed by price (40%), “good for the environment” (38%) and “I like to try new things” (38%).
  • Of the total number of consumers surveyed, 36% believe there are downsides to plant-based diets compared to 35% who believe there aren’t.
  • 29% said they don’t know if there are downsides or not.
  • 40% of consumers believe a plant-based diet is much healthier than one that includes meat/animal products.
  • Almost half (45%) of plant-based meat alternative consumers said they would reduce their consumption of them if it was proven that a plant-based diet had unhealthy levels of salt and/or sugar and could lead to nutrient deficiencies.
  • 58% of consumers said they believe adopting a plant-based diet is better for the environment than having a diet that includes meat/animal products.
  • 39% of plant-based meat alternative consumers said they would reduce their consumption of them if it was proven that a having a plant-based diet negatively impacted the environment.

What are the public’s negative perceptions of plant-based food?

Female, 32 - “The cost – plant-based prices out a lot of people that could try it. Also farming of any sort causes deforestation - the planting of soya plantations is as big of a threat to the environment as meat produce farms.”

Male, 40 - “A lot of meat 'alternatives' are themselves highly processed and contain artificial ingredients. Better to eat well-cooked vegetables and other non-meat foods. Also, some forms of farming of non-meat and non-dairy products - for example, almonds, soy and palm oil - are too water intensive and destructive to the environment. Food should be about balance, not prioritising one way of eating over another.”

Female, 42 - “Some of the plant-based alternatives aren’t very healthy as they’re highly processed foods. It can be difficult to get all the nutrients you need on a plant-based diet if you don’t pay attention and the over consumption of foods like avocados has a negative impact on the land and communities farming them.”

Male, 20 - “It's not a fully researched diet and there are fears that it could result in health problems like reduced fertility. More researched is the lack of nutrients such as protein that comes as a result of a plant-based diet.

Female, 57 - “Young people/children need accessible proteins, iron, minerals and vitamins, which are available in meat products as well as eggs and milk. I am concerned ditching all meat products for this demographic is unhealthy.”

Female, 35 - “Some vitamins and minerals are not as present in meat alternatives and are not absorbed into the body in the same way. Some products are also very processed which I don't like - I like to cook from scratch as much as possible.

Male, 26 - “There have been some studies that say you don't get enough of certain vitamins and other requirements from just plant-based meals that require you to then take supplements. Also, I have read your hair can thin!”

Female, 24 - “I believe you can get all the nutrients that meat and animals can offer us with meat alternatives, but dairy-free products aren’t offering us the same nutrients as dairy products.”

Female, 61 - “Over reliance on processed plant-based foods rather than just making your own. Increased consumption of what are effectively ready meals under a different branding.”

Female, 28 - “The main negative aspect for me is the price, plant-based alternatives are way more expensive and I don't find them as filling or satisfying as the meat options.”

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