Bibliography for Plant-Based Alternatives Research
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TitleAuthor(s)YearAbstract or Key FindingsPeer-Reviewed SourceOther SourceKey Words from SourceSamples for Experimental DesignsType of Resource
(quant, qual, lit review, theoretical, opinion, etc.)
Geographic LocationURLNotes
Please add to this list as this is an open access working bibliography meant for the community's use.
Consumer acceptance and appropriateness of meat substitutes in a meal contextJohanna E. Elzerman, Annet C. Hoek, Martinus A.J.S. van Boekel, Pieternel A. Luning2011"The replacement of meat by meat substitutes could help to reduce the environmental burden of our food production systems. However, the acceptance of most meat substitutes is still low. This study investigated the role of meal context on the acceptance of meat substitutes. In a central location test involving 93 participants, meals with meat substitutes were rated on overall liking, product liking (liking of the meat substitute in the meal), appropriateness and intention-to-use, whereas individual meat substitutes were rated on overall liking. Meat substitutes with similar flavor and texture, but with different shape (pieces and mince), were rated differently in four meals (rice, spaghetti, soup, and salad) on product liking, appropriateness and intention-to-use, but not differently on overall liking of the meals. Meat substitutes with similar shape, but different flavor and texture rated differently on overall liking when tasted separately, but did not always differ in product liking when tasted in a rice meal. Appropriateness seemed to be influenced by the appearance of the meat substitute-meal combination, and less by flavor and texture. For the development of new foods (e.g. meat substitutes), more emphasis is needed on consumer evaluation of meal combinations instead of on the sensory properties of the individual product."Food Quality and PreferenceN/AMeal context; Appropriateness; Liking; Acceptance; Central location test; Meat substitutesN/AQuantitativeThe Netherlands
Are meat substitutes liked better over time? A repeated in-home use test with meat substitutes or meat in mealsAnnet C. Hoek, Johanna E. Elzerman, Rianne Hageman, Frans J. Kok, Pieternel A. Luning, Cees de Graaf2013"The overall aim of this study was to explore long-term consumer acceptance of new environmentally sustainable alternatives to meat. We investigated whether meat substitutes, which are relatively new food products, would be better appreciated after repeated consumption. Eighty-nine non-vegetarian participants joined an in-home use test and consumed one type of product with their self-selected hot meal for 20 times during 10 weeks: Quorn (meat-like), tofu (not meat-like) or a meat reference (chicken filet). Initial liking (100-mm line scale) for chicken was higher (81 ± 19) than for Quorn (60 ± 28) and tofu (68 ± 21). On a product group level, boredom occurred with all three products and after 20 exposures there were no significant differences in product liking anymore. However, there were noticeably different individual responses within the three product groups, showing both ‘boredom’ and ‘mere exposure’ patterns. Mere exposure occurred significantly more frequent with tofu, with more than half of the participants showing an increased liking over time. We also found that meal patterns were related to boredom: bored persons used more different types of meals, probably to alleviate product boredom. This study demonstrates that liking of meat substitutes can be increased by repeated exposure for a segment of consumers. In addition, it indicates that the meal context should be considered in future in-home repeated exposure studies."Food Quality and PreferenceN/AMeat substitutes; Meat replacers; Boredom; Consumer acceptance; Vegetarian; Sustainability"Eighty-nine non-vegetarian participants joined an in-home use test and consumed one type of product with their self-selected hot meal for 20 times during 10 weeks: Quorn (meat-like), tofu (not meat-like) or a meat reference (chicken filet)."QuantitativeThe Netherlands
Increasing the Acceptance of Soy-Based FoodsBrian Wansink, Steven Sonka, Peter Goldsmith, Jorge Chiriboga & Nilgün Eren2005"Programs intending to encourage the adoption of soy-based foods have fallen short of expectations. This issue of how unfamiliar, protein-rich foods can be introduced into diets was addressed during the rationing years of World War II when citizens were encouraged to incorporate protein-rich organ meats into their protein deficient diets. Unfortunately, most of the insights resulting from these efforts remained unpublished or in limited distribution. This article takes these recently released findings and uses them to show how the acceptance of soy-based foods can be facilitated."Journal of International Food & Agribusiness MarketingN/ASoy foods, consumer acceptance, gatekeepers, soy perception, food availability, frames of reference, social norms, hedonismN/AReviewN/A
Dispelling myths about a new healthful food can be more motivating than promoting nutritional benefits: The case of TofuBrian Wansink, Mitsuru Shimizu, Adam Brumberg2014"Objective
This study examines what factors impact the adoption of certain types of healthy foods, such as Tofu, by future nutritional gatekeepers.

Information on perceived facilitators and barriers to the utilization of barriers would be obtained via interviews and surveys.

In-depth laddering interviews and an online survey during 2012 were utilized.

The in-depth laddering interviews were conducted with 83 young women and new mothers (non-vegetarians and non-Asians) who were enthusiastic lovers of Tofu. 502 women from the target demographic (between 20 and 35, non-Asian) were recruited from a national panel and surveyed online in 2012.

Based on the interviews, 21 primary reasons for trying Tofu (facilitators) and 10 reasons that might be preventative (barriers) were identified. A key finding was that facilitators were not motivating factors for why women adopted Tofu into their diets. Instead, barriers explained more than 44% of the variance for not adopting tofu.

When encouraging nutritional gatekeepers to add Tofu to their household diets, it may be more effective to focus on changing the barriers. This study suggests that nutritionists and health practitioners may be more successful in encouraging the adoption of healthy new foods by dispelling their misconceptions rather than focusing on their nutritional benefits."
Eating BehaviorsN/ANew food; Health food; Tofu; Nutritional benefits; Food acceptance; Asian; Japanese; Functional foodsN/AQualitative & Quantitative?
Meat alternatives — market developments and health benefitsMichele J Sadler 2004"A growing range of food ingredients is used in the manufacture of meat alternative products reflecting technological and innovative developments and consumer demand for high quality meat alternative products. This article reviews the market size and market drivers for such products, the key technological developments to date, the nutritional value, health benefits and potential contribution to public health of such foods, and relevant safety issues."Trends in Food Science & TechnologyN/AN/AN/AReviewN/A
Quorn™ Myco-protein — Overview of a successful fungal productMarilyn G. Wiebe2004_MycologistN/Amyco-protein; Fusarium venenatum A3/5; continuous flow cultureN/AReviewEurope
Identification of new food alternatives: How do consumers categorize meat and meat substitutes?Annet C. Hoek, Martinus A.J.S. van Boekel, Jantine Voordouw, Pieternel A. Luning2011"New meat substitutes need to be recognized as alternatives to meat. We therefore investigated which category representations consumers have of meat and meat substitutes. Thirty-four non-vegetarian participants performed a free sorting task with 17 meat products and 19 commercially available meat substitutes, followed by similarity and typicality ratings. Results indicated that categorization was largely influenced by the taxonomic classification of meat, so by categories that refer to the animal source like ‘pork’, ‘beef’ etc. Hence, meat substitutes were grouped separately from non-processed meat products. However, there were categories (e.g. ‘pieces’ and ‘sausages’) that contained both meat substitutes and processed meat products, as these products were perceived to be very similar.

New meat substitutes should have a certain resemblance to meat in order to replace meat on the plate. This can be achieved by either similarity in appearance or by referring to shared scripts/goals, such as a similar application in meals."
Food Quality and PreferenceN/AMeat substitutes; Meat replacers; Categorization; Free sorting; Grouping; New products; Vegetarian; ConsumersN/AQuantitativeThe Netherlands
Meat avoidance and the role of replacersHeather McIlveen , Clare Abraham, and Gillian Armstrong1999"Manufacturers are producing an extensive range of added value products which are formulated using meat replacers but which are designed to appeal to a wide range of consumers, above and beyond the “traditional vegetarian” market. This study considered the relatively recent impact of such products on the Northern Ireland market, with a particular emphasis on the quality and acceptability of Quorn based products. A small‐ scale questionnaire (n = 100) considered customer perceptions of meat replacers, whilst the acceptance of selected tofu, textured vegetable protein (TVP) and Quorn products was measured using selected sensory evaluation techniques. The study concluded that Quorn can offer similar texture and flavour attributes to those consumers who wish to avoid meat products for health and/or safety reasons. It is this customer base which needs to be targeted, but it must be noted that negative perceptions of meat replacers still exist. Therefore, further developments need to be supported by appropriate marketing strategies which will both attract and educate consumers and help to achieve a sustained level of purchasing."Nutrition & Food ScienceN/AConsumer attitudes, Meat, VegetariansN/AQuantitativeNorthern Ireland
Meat Alternatives - US - June 2013Mintel2013"Some questions answered in this report include:
Can meat alternatives become primary offerings rather than substitutes?
Are meat alternatives meeting the health needs of consumers?

What can the category do to grow sales among current users?
What can the category do to attract the attention of nonusers?"
N/AMintelN/AN/AQuantitativeU.S. a major paywall (£3,000)
Meat Substitutes Market by Type (Tofu & Tofu Ingredients, Tempeh, Textured Vegetable Protein, Seitan, Quorn), Source (Soy-based, Wheat-based, Mycoprotein), Category (Frozen, Refrigerated), and Region - Global Forecast to 2022MarketsandMarkets2015"Objectives of the study include:
To define, segment, and project the global market size for meat substitutes on the basis of source, type, category, and region
To provide detailed information about the key factors influencing the growth of the market (drivers, restraints, opportunities, and industry-specific challenges)
To strategically analyze micromarkets with respect to individual growth trends, future prospects, and their contribution to the total market
To analyze the opportunities in the market for stakeholders and provide a competitive landscape of market leaders
To project the size of the market and its submarkets, in terms of value, with respect to four regions (along with their respective key countries), namely, North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Rest of the World (RoW)
To strategically profile key players and comprehensively analyze their core competencies
To analyze competitive developments such as mergers & acquisitions, new product developments, and expansions in the meat substitutes market"
N/AMarketsandMarketsN/AN/AQuantitativeU.S. a major paywall (US $5,700)
Can we cut out the meat of the dish? Constructing consumer-oriented pathways towards meat substitutionHanna Schösler, Joop de Boer, Jan J. Boersema2012"The shift towards a more sustainable diet necessitates less reliance on foods of animal origin. This study presents data from a representative survey of Dutch consumers on their practices related to meat, meat substitution and meat reduction. The practices reflected a cultural gradient of meat substitution options running from other products of animal origin and conventional meat free meals to real vegetarian meals. To investigate feasible substitution options, a variety of meals without meat were presented using photos, which were rated by the participants in terms of attractiveness and chances that they would prepare a similar meal at home. The results demonstrated the influence of meal formats, product familiarity, cooking skills, preferences for plant-based foods and motivational orientations towards food. In particular, a lack of familiarity and skill hampered the preparation of real vegetarian meals. Based on the findings we propose a diversified understanding of meat substitution and we specify four policy-relevant pathways for a transition towards a more plant-based diet, including an incremental change towards more health-conscious vegetarian meals, a pathway that utilizes the trend towards convenience, a pathway of reduced portion size, and practice-oriented change towards vegetarian meals."AppetiteN/ASustainability; Consumption patterns; Meat substitution; Insects; Vegetarian diet; Food cultureN/AQuantitativeThe Netherlands
Project: Motivating vegan purchasingThe Humane Leagueforthcoming"The promotion of vegan replacements of meat products to both vegetarians and omnivores is of interest to animal advocacy organizations. Even though marketing departments of manufacturers have likely studied short-term motivators for their specific vegan products, less well-understood is the effect of long-term motivators such as those based on farm animal advocacy. Further, a successful motivator for a specific vegan product may or may not be the same as one that promotes a general attitudinal change toward seeking vegan replacements for meat products.

This project will study retail consumer data in multiple product categories, develop an understanding of the relationships between patterns of purchase of animal products and their alternatives and make quantitative estimates of the potential and the limits of the role of farm animal advocacy. We expect to complete the study in 2017."
Report: Which vegan meals do omnivores find most appetizing and accessible?Sabine Doebel, Susan Gabriel, and The Humane League2015"The goal of this study was to examine which vegan dishes non-vegetarians find most appealing and accessible. This information can provide guidance in terms of which dishes to show in pro- vegetarian pamphlets, recipe books, and magazines, and could also be useful for restaurants that want to introduce vegetarian dishes to their customers. This study was primarily exploratory in that there were no a priori hypotheses about what types of dishes individuals would prefer more or less."N/AThe Humane LeagueN/AN/AQuantitative?
Replacement of meat by meat substitutes. A survey on person- and product-related factors in consumer acceptanceAnnet C. Hoek, Pieternel A. Luning, Pascalle Weijzen, Wim Engels, Frans J. Kok, Cees de Graaf2011"What does it take to increase the consumption of meat substitutes and attract new consumers? We identified main barriers and drivers by a consumer survey (n = 553) in the U.K. and the Netherlands. Person-related factors (food neophobia and food choice motives) and product-related attitudes and beliefs towards meat and meat substitutes were compared between non-users (n = 324), light/medium- users (n = 133) and heavy-users of meat substitutes (n = 96). Consumer acceptance was largely determined by the attitudes and beliefs towards meat substitutes and food neophobia. Key barriers for non-users and light/medium-users were the unfamiliarity with meat substitutes and the lower sensory attractiveness compared to meat. In addition, non-users had a higher tendency to avoid new foods. Hence, the less consumers were using meat substitutes, the more they wanted these products to be similar to meat. Although non-users and light/medium-users did recognize the ethical and weight- control aspects of meat substitutes, this was obviously less relevant to them. Actually, only heavy-users had high motivations to choose ethical foods, which explains their choice for meat substitutes. In order to make meat substitutes more attractive to meat consumers, we would not recommend to focus on communication of ethical arguments, but to significantly improve the sensory quality and resemblance to meat."AppetiteN/AMeat substitutes, Vegetarian, Meat, Food choice motives, Food neophobia, Consumer attitudesN/AQuantitativeUK &
the Netherlands
Food-related lifestyle and health attitudes of Dutch vegetarians, non-vegetarian consumers of meat substitutes, and meat consumersAnnet C. Hoek, Pieternel A. Luning, Annette Stafleu, Cees de Graaf2004"The aim was to investigate socio-demographic characteristics, and attitudes to food and health of vegetarians, non-vegetarian consumers of meat substitutes, and meat consumers in the Netherlands.

The sample used for this study (participants ≥18 years) was taken from the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey, 1997/1998. Vegetarians (n=63) and consumers of meat substitutes (n=39) had similar socio-demographic profiles: higher education levels, higher social economic status, smaller households, and more urbanised residential areas, compared to meat consumers (n=4313).

Attitudes to food were assessed by the food-related lifestyle instrument. We found that vegetarians (n=32) had more positive attitudes towards importance of product information, speciality shops, health, novelty, ecological products, social event, and social relationships than meat consumers (n=1638). The health consciousness scale, which was used to assess attitudes to health, supported earlier findings that vegetarians are more occupied by health. Food-related lifestyle and health attitudes of meat substitute consumers (n=17) were predominantly in-between those from vegetarians and meat consumers. The outcome of this study suggests that in strategies to promote meat substitutes for non-vegetarian consumers, the focus should not only be on health and ecological aspects of foods."
AppetiteN/AMeat substitutes; Vegetarians; Food-related lifestyle attitudes; Health consciousnessN/AQuantitativeThe Netherlands
How soy labeling influences preference and tasteBrian Wansink, Sea Bum Park, Steven Sonka, Michelle Morganosky2000"Using a “Phantom Ingredient” taste test, this article demonstrates how the use of soy labels and health claims on a package negatively biased taste perceptions and attitudes toward a food erroneously thought to contain soy. Consumers who ate products which mentioned soy on the package described the taste more grainy, less flavorful, and as having a strong aftertaste compared to those who ate the product but saw no soy label. Yet, while putting “soy” on a package negatively influenced tasteconscious consumers, when combined with a health claim, it improved attitudes among consumers who are health-conscious, natural food lovers, or dieters. Our results and discussion provide better direction for researchers who work with ingredient labeling as well as for marketers who work with soybean products."International Food and Agribusiness Management ReviewN/AN/A"To better examine how labeling influences product taste perceptions and evaluations as well as what groups are the most influenced by labeling, we designed a 2 X 2 between-subjects experiment where soy label (“contains 10 g of soy protein” vs. “contains 10 g of protein”) was crossed with a health claim (“May help reduce the risk of heart disease” vs. no health claim). Subjects were randomly assigned to one of the four experimental conditions. Of the 155 subjects who participated in the experiment, 45% were homemakers from the
Midwest (average age of 31.2; 74.3% female) who received $6 donation for their participation, and 55% were undergraduate students (average age of 20.3; 52.4% female) from 11 different states and 8 different countries who received course credits for their participation."
Overcoming the Taste Stigma of SoyB. Wansink2003"Can labels unknowingly influence a person’s taste perceptions? Using a “phantom ingredient” taste test, the presence or absence of a labeled ingredient (soy) was shown to influence sensory evaluations of a food. In particular, a nutrition bar wrongly purporting to contain soy generated negative ratings of taste, aftertaste, and attitude, yet generated favorable ratings of its nutritiousness. Because there was actually no soy in the product, these differences represent biases caused by ingredient labeling. Given the appropriate segment of consumers (health-oriented), ingredient labeling may have more favorable consequences. This power of suggestion might also be expanded to other ingredients or processes, such as those involving biotechnology or
organic production."
Sensory and Nutritive Qualities of FoodN/Asoy, labeling, taste perceptions, food acceptance, phantom ingredient testing, sensory testing"109 participants (62.6% female; average age of 37.7 years; 1.2 y of college education) were individually intercepted in a shopping mall of a medium-size town in the Midwest." "a between-subjects design was used in which each participant was randomly given a commercially-available nutrition bar that had been repackaged and labeled as containing either 10 g of soy protein or 10 g of protein."QuantitativeU.S.
Relation of Soy Consumption to Nutritional KnowledgeBrian Wansink, Nina Chan2001"Is it reasonable to believe that the consumption of medicinal and functional foods such as soy is driven by nutritional knowledge? A national survey of 770 U.S. consumers indicated that 39% of male and female subjects did not know of any health benefits associated with soy. Among those who know of soy’s nutritional benefits, consumption occurred only among those who perceived these benefits as specifically relevant to themselves. People who had even a slight familiarity with functional foods were more likely to consume soy. Improving the taste properties of soy appeared to have a more dramatic potential impact on the consumption of those who were knowledgeable about functional and medicinal foods than on the general population."Journal of Medicinal FoodN/AN/AN/AQuantitativeU.S.
Segmentation approaches that differentiate consumption frequency from sensory preferenceBrian Wansink, Steven T. Sonka, Se-Bum Park2004"People can eat a food without having a strong preference for it, and people can prefer a food without eating it. Given this seeming disconnect between attitude and behavior, which type of measure or segment can best be used to profile or identify loyal consumer segments of a food, such as soy? This research compares a usage-based method (heavy-light-nonusers) with a new attitude-based method (seeker-neutral-avoider), and finds that the attitude-based method differentiates purchase-related intentions better than the usage-based method. Implications for profiling consumer taste patterns and consumer segments are provided."Journal of Sensory StudiesN/AN/AN/AQuantitativeNorth America
Profiling taste-motivated segmentsBrian Wansink, Randall Westgren2003"Early adopters of unfamiliar, but nutritious foods can do so because of a combination of taste-motivations and health-motivations. Yet because taste can provide an enduring motivation for dietary change, profiling the taste-motivated segment of a particular food might prove useful in identifying and stimulating adoption among similar predisposed segments. This manuscript describes a basic qualitative and quantitative procedure—in the context of soy consumption—that can be used to begin profiling taste-motivated segments of a particular food. A survey of 606 North Americans indicates that when contrasted to health-motivated consumers of soy, taste-motivated consumers were more likely to claim they are opinion-leaders who live with (or who are) great cooks, and they were more likely to exhibit other behaviors associated with food appreciation, such as dining out and wine consumption. In light of these findings, instead of encouraging people to eat soy solely for health reasons, a more productive method may be to target those who are more likely to prefer it for tastemotivated reasons. This same method has potential for more effectively promoting the consumption of fruits and vegetables or the consumption of genetically enhanced foods among predisposed taste-motivated segments."AppetiteN/ASoy taste profiles; Taste-motivated; Segmentation; Soy consumption; Yogurt; Wine; Fruits and vegetables; Soy foodsN/AQuantitativeNorth America
Taste Profiles That Correlate with Soy Consumption in Developing CountriesBrian Wansink, JaeHak Cheong2002"While insufficient protein consumption is a concern to many demographic segments in developed countries, it is a greater concern in developing nations where the cost or availability of traditional forms of animal protein results in protein deficiencies. Soy is a low-cost, highly available protein source, yet it is largely overlooked because of its unfamiliar taste and texture. To determine how to best encourage soy consumption, a convenience sample of 132 Indians and Pakistanis living in the United States was examined for insights in to what characterizes someone who regularly eats soy for taste-related reasons. Three groups of consumers were analyzed, people who ate soy primarily for taste-related reasons, those who ate it primarily for health-related reasons, and those who did not eat it. People who ate soy primarily for taste-related reasons were found to be more likely to appreciate fine food, to live with a great cook, and to be more of an opinion leader than did those in either of the other two groups. These along with additional findings have implications for targeting soypredisposed consumers, who will adopt soy for the long-term, and who can influence others because of their role as opinion-leaders within their peer or reference gorup."Pakistan Journal of NutritionN/AProtein-deficiency, soy consumption, taste profilesN/AQualitative & QuantitativeU.S. & developing countries
The Civilised Burger: Meat Alternatives as a Conversion Aid and Social Instrument for Australian Vegetarians and VegansJemàl Nath and Desireé Prideaux2011"Australians consume and enjoy a variety and abundance of meats. The preferred protein sources in the typical Western diet are flesh foods derived from cattle, sheep, pig, bird and aquatic species. There is, however, an emerging marketplace that offers alternatives. This paper explores the centrality of meat alternatives in the food habits and practices of Australian vegetarians and vegans. The term ‘meat alternatives’ refers to the variety of foods that are commonly referred to as ‘mock meats’. They are plant-based products that approximate the aesthetic qualities and/or nutritional value of certain types of meat, and they are part of a quietly booming alternative food economy.

The data reported here are drawn from a grounded theory study of alternative diets. A majority of the informants in this study discussed their consumption of a variety of meat-like foods. Of all 44 informants interviewed, 34 (77%) rely on and enjoy foods that they refer to as, ‘burgers’, ‘hot dogs’, ‘chicken’, ‘schnitzels’ and ‘bacon’. This essay describes the social contexts in which these products are enjoyed, and explains their function, cultural meaning and ethical value to consumers."
Australian Humanities ReviewN/AN/AN/Aqualitative grounded theory studyAustralia
Meat Substitutes Market Report 2016-2026Visiongain2015"Forecasts for Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Mycoprotein (Quorn), Pea Protein, Tofu, Tempeh, Seitan & Other ‘Free From’ Meat-Free Food, Analogues & Alternatives"N/AVisiongainN/AN/A?? a major paywall (£1,100)
2016 Study of Changing Attitudes Toward Vegetarian/Flexitarian Diets & Food ChoicesResearch and Markets2016"The vegetarian market is comprised of strict vegetarians and more relaxed flexitarians, yet use of many meat and dairy substitutes (veggie crumbles, veggie meatballs, frozen vegetarian meals, cheese substitutes, etc.) is most widespread among the vegetarian group. The 2016 Study of Changing Attitudes Toward Vegetarian/Flexitarian Diets & Food Choices takes a deep look at the eating habits of both vegetarians and flexitarians, including their brand preferences, nutritional and ethical priorities when selecting food products.
Flexitarians outnumber vegetarians by a ratio of 3 to 1, but both groups stand to grow substantially over the next ten years if the young adults who favor this diet stay true to their vegetarian/flexitarian habits as they age. Vegetarians purchase many meat and dairy substitutes (veggie crumbles, veggie meatballs, frozen vegetarian meals, cheese substitutes, etc.) more often than flexitarians and admit their diet requires them to spend more time on meal preparation."
N/AResearch and MarketsN/AN/A?? a major paywall ($22,000)
Consumer perception and behaviour regarding sustainable protein consumption: A systematic reviewChristina Hartmann, Michael Siegrist2017"Background
Our daily food choices have a huge impact on the environment. Production of meat has a much larger impact compared with the production of vegetable-based proteins. In order to create a food production and supply system that is more sustainable and environmentally friendly, food consumption behaviour needs to change. A reduction of meat intake is necessary. The introduction of alternative protein sources (e.g., insects or cultured meat) might be one possibility to replace meat.

Scope and approach
The present systematic review identified 33 articles to answer the following three research questions: 1) Are consumers aware that meat consumption has a large environmental impact? 2) Are consumers willing to reduce meat consumption or substitute meat with an alternative? 3) Are consumers willing to accept meat substitutes and alternative proteins, such as insects or cultured meat?

Key findings and conclusion
Consumer awareness of the environmental impact of meat production is surprisingly low. This is true for consumers in various European countries. Likewise, willingness to change meat consumption behaviour in terms of reducing or substituting meat (e.g., by eating insects or meat substitutes) is low as well. How people can be motivated to decrease their meat consumption behaviour has been underexplored. In particular, experimental studies are lacking and further investigations should focus on strategies (e.g., nudging interventions) that might help to motivate pro-environmentally friendly meat consumption behaviour. Moreover, population-based studies are scarce, and we need more in-depth studies on the factors that increase people’s willingness to reduce or to substitute meat consumption."
Trends in Food Science & TechnologyN/Aconsumer; meat; environment; sustainability; insects; meat substitutesN/AReviewN/A
Vegetarian Food Products Labeling—An EU PerspectiveRenato Pichler2016"The situation regarding the offer and demand for vegetarian food has dramatically changed within the last 10 years. The number of fairs and street festivals rises and they are usually fully booked out. There are Veggie Planet, VeggieWorld, Veganmaniadjust to name a few that are totally focused on a vegan lifestyle. Besides these specialized ones, there are more and more events with an integrated part of a plant-based food area. This includes, for example, the world’s leading trade fair for organic food, the BioFach in Germany.1 The large attendance shows the growing interest of the people. In larger cities, restaurants open to offer a fully vegan menu or existing ones extend their menu to offer vegan meals next to the traditional ones. But the best place to state a change in peoples’ minds is probably the supermarket. More companies jump on the bandwagon and offer meat alternatives in the hope to get a fair market share. Next to that development, the call for less meat grows louder for multinational companies. In September 2016 a 40-strong-group put pressure on 16 multinational food companies to respond to the risk for health and environment caused by the meat production in diversifying more into plant-based foods.2 One can clearly talk about a current trend that reaches the crowd. After a study, the use of the term vegetarian on new food products has risen by 60% in the last 4 years.3 This presents a great chance for companies and consumers alike. Some even say vegan is not a trend anymore but going mainstream.4 This tendency is not only seen in the Western world. The Chinese government has announced a plan to reduce the meat intake by 50%.5 Despite all this, there are still no official definitions for “vegetarian” and “vegan” for EU countries. Within Europe, Switzerland is the only country with a clear legally binding definition. Also, a lot of companies have created their own labels and it is quite intransparent by which regulations they go by. The need and the demand from the consumers grow higher."Reference Module in Food SciencesN/AN/A
FoodScape 2017: Plant + CellularDatassential (Alex Li, et al)2017Substantial proportions of consumers are making a conscious effort to eat more veggies (69%), fruits (68%), nuts (48%), healthy fats (43%), pulses (34%), seeds (23%), nutrient-rich spices (22%), and nutrient-rich teas (20%).

65% of consumers want plant-based alternatives at traditional grocery stores. 32% want dairy-free milk, 28% want dairy-free ice cream, and 24% want dairy-free yogurt/butter/cheese. 25% want plant-based meat replacers, 24% want egg-free condiments, and 26% want bee-free honey.

People who identify as "foodies" or Millenials are more likely to be interested in plant-based foods than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers.

Among those not wanting to eat plant-based foods, the top reasons are that it's not necessary (35%), taste (34%), cost (31%), feeling full (28%), and protein (24%).

16% of consumers think that plant-based dairy alternatives can taste just as good as the "real thing," while 14% say the same about veggie burgers. But only 8% think alternatives for steak, fish filets, or bacon can taste as good as the real products.

26% of consumers say they would pay a premium for a plant-based alternative to replace burgers, with Millenials and "foodies" most willing to pay a premium.
N/AN/AN/AN=626, sample composition and source unknownOpinionAppears to be U.S. Che ( for a summary document
Don’t Put Vegetables in the Corner: Q&A with Behavioral Science Researcher Linda Bacon
Alternative Proteins and the (Non)Stuff of “Meat”
Drivers of choice for fluid milk versus plant-based alternatives: What are consumer perceptions of fluid milk?
New Data: Sales Climbing for Plant-Based Foods