Animal welfare and health aspects, on the other hand, favor the use of meat alternatives — ScienceDaily

Meat substitutes are on the rise: while they had a niche existence in health food stores or organic stores, wheat salami, tofu cutlet or soy mince are now found in all supermarkets well stocked. “We wanted to know why consumers choose these alternatives,” says Jeanette Klink-Lehmann, who is doing her PhD at the Institute for Food and Resource Economics at the University of Bonn in the department of Prof. Dr. Monika. Hartman.

Klink-Lehmann and Hartmann, along with their colleague Nick Marcus, interviewed 441 men and women from across Germany for the analysis. Participants were asked, for example, to say how much they care about their health, whether they think humanity is heading towards an ecological crisis and whether animal husbandry in agriculture should be questioned on the ethical plan. They also indicated their attitude towards meat substitutes and their intention to consume them regularly in the future.

Animal welfare and health aspects drive consumption

“We have now examined the statistical relationships between these responses based on an extension of a recognized behavioral model,” says Marcus. The researchers came across a surprising result: greater concern for the environment was not associated with higher ratings of meat substitutes, nor with greater intention to purchase them. “We expected that ecological aspects would also play a role in the intention to consume meat substitutes,” says Marcus. “However, this has not been confirmed.”

Researchers can only speculate on the reasons for the discrepancy between participants’ environmental concerns and their behavioral intention. For example, the survey data already dates from 2017, a time when the “Fridays for Future” movement did not yet exist. “Since then, the issue of the environment has occupied a much higher place on the agenda,” emphasizes Klink-Lehmann. “As a result, more people are likely aware of the potentially negative environmental effects of meat consumption today than they were five years ago.”

Animal welfare concerns played a major role in respondents’ consumer decisions: those who view factory farming critically have (unsurprisingly) a more positive attitude towards plant-based sausages and veggie burgers in mean. This attitude, in turn, has a beneficial effect on the intention to use these alternatives in the future. A pronounced health consciousness is also associated with a greater propensity to consume meat substitutes. In addition, the attitude of friends and close relatives towards meat substitutes has a significant influence on this decision.

Targeted benefits marketing

Marcus, Klink-Lehmann and Hartmann recommend, on the one hand, better communication of the ecological advantages of meat substitutes. Moreover, the industry should pay attention to a healthy and balanced composition in the manufacture of its products. In addition, when foods of animal origin such as eggs are used in meat substitutes, they must come from farms that ensure good animal husbandry. “Animal welfare and health are obviously very important to consumers,” says Klink-Lehmann. “So manufacturers would do well to consider these aspects and market their foods accordingly.”

Source of the story:

Material provided by University of Bonn. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Comments are closed.