Consumer preferences for labgrown and plant-based meat

by cole_haus1 min read8th Aug 20192 comments


Animal product alternativesCultured meat

(Direct link to paper (instead of to blog post by paper's author))

This study reports the results of a nationwide survey of more than 1,800 U.S. consumers who completed a choice experiment in which they selected among conventional beef and three alternative meat products (lab-based, plant-based with pea protein, and plant-based with animal-like protein) at different prices. [...] Results from mixed logit models indicate that, holding prices constant and conditional on choosing a food product, 72% chose farm raised beef, 16% plant-based (pea protein) meat alternative, 7% plant-based (animal-like protein) meat alternative, and 5% labgrown meat. [...] Respondents are strongly opposed to taxing conventional beef and to allowing the plant- and lab-based alternatives to use the label "beef."

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Thanks for sharing this! This is good to see and somewhat dispiriting. A few things about this piece that are raise questions for me:

1) The consumers opposing use of the word "beef" for non-cow-based products seems presumably intended to yield evidence on the labeling laws in several states, but I would guess consumers would react differently to, e.g., "burger" or "nugget."

2) The labels on products seem to involve more than just the brand recognition because the farm-raised beef label has an image of a cow seemingly out on pasture. (This may not be inaccurate in the case of cows, but if applied to the case of chickens, pigs, or fish, such an image would be misleading.)

3) I'd be curious for the results with a term other than lab-grown.

4) The result that males prefer plant-based or clean meat is surprising and out of line with every other data source I've seen, e.g.

The result that males prefer plant-based or clean meat is surprising

Perhaps because women have stronger disgust reactions, which might reduce support for artificial meat without reducing support for animal rights.