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Perception of cultured “meat” by French consumers according to their diet

Abstract : The culture of muscle cells for food purposes, so-called cultured "meat", is advertised by its proponents as likely to meet the growing demand for animal protein without the disadvantages of animal farming. However, while this product is still in development and not yet widely commercialised, it is already attracting various forms of criticism from consumers. The present study follows a large international online survey of 5418 consumers in France which was aimed at understanding consumer perceptions of muscle cell culture for food purposes. Based on 118 interviews conducted on volunteers with specific dietary habits (vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians, regular meat consumers), the aim of this study was to target an audience with a variety of diets and thus to analyse more closely consumers' feelings towards this product. Regular meat consumers are more favourable to this product than vegetarians and vegans whose convictions prevent them from tasting artificial "meat". The consumption of this new product would be perceived by the latter as a step backwards. Of the 118 people questioned, half of them think that this product could have a negative impact on the animal industry, 41% fear undesirable health effects and 29% do not believe in the quality of this product. However, this new product arouses curiosity amongst the respondents, the majority of whom (80%) would like to try it. While the selling price of this product is questionable, 22% of respondents indicated that they had no intention of buying it. For those who were likely to buy this product, prices were expected to be lower or equal to those of conventional meat for 72% of them. Despite the uncertainties regarding its future development, the majority of respondents were optimistic about the future of this product. 80% of them believe it will become widespread more or less quickly, whether they like it or not, mainly because French people's mentalities are changing, despite that fact that the implementation of this product would appear difficult on certain points. The vegans are more likely to be neutral than the other consumers. There is no consensus on the term "meat" for this new foodstuff, with 25% of those questioned agreeing with the term "cultured meat" (14%) in particular. The majority of flexitarians (55%) are opposed to the use of the term "meat" for this new product, whereas this term seems to be suitable for 91% of the vegans and 82% of the vegetarians. The semantic issue is important and the name of this new product must not mislead the consumer.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 15, 2022 - 9:27:39 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 16, 2022 - 4:07:58 PM

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Cannelle Gousset, Emilie Gregorio, Bérangère Marais, Auriane Rusalen, Sghaier Chriki, et al.. Perception of cultured “meat” by French consumers according to their diet. Livestock Science, 2022, 260, pp.104909. ⟨10.1016/j.livsci.2022.104909⟩. ⟨hal-03695657⟩

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