Research indicates adoption of the new product among the general population and by generational segments
Research by the journal Foods predicts that cultivated meat is likely to make up a major part of consumers’ future diets. The study showed patterns of greater openness to trying such products by younger generational groups: 87-89% of Gen Z adults, 84-85% of Millennials, 76-77% of Gen X, and 70-74% of Boomers were at least somewhat open to trying cultivated meat.
Researchers surveyed a large, representative sample of 2,018 US and 2,034 UK consumers, assessing indicators of adoption among the general population, and by generational segments.
The majority of consumers surveyed were unfamiliar with cultivated meat, yet upon being presented with a description, respondents, on average, imagined that cultivated meat could make up about 40% of their future meat intake, with conventional meat constituting around 60%.
Honing in on the findings of the survey, which segmented the participants by age and by degree of enthusiasm, 40% of consumers were “very” or “extremely likely” to try cultivated meat in both the US and the UK.
This group of enthusiastic triers was categorised as the ‘early majority’ group. Of the early majority group, 98-99% of them said they would consider welcoming it as a regular item in their shopping basket. The vast majority of the early majority are omnivores (94-95%) who consume meat two-to-three times a day in a typical week.
The research was commissioned by Israeli cell-based meat start-up Aleph Farms. Commenting on the findings, chief executive Didier Toubia said: “In order to turn this expected acceptance into actual consumption patterns over time, it is critical to develop the right products, based on the right solutions. In the long term, Aleph Farms’ vision is to provide a better alternative to industrial livestock farming, which represents approximately 70% of global meat production today.”
Keri Szejda, who led the research said: “The results suggest that cultivated meat is likely to be widely accepted by the general public, especially the younger generations and an eager group of early adopters who appreciate its benefits across a wide range of social issues. These groups tend to embrace change and need little encouragement to try new food innovations.
“Additionally, we observed an increase in support for the technology once consumers had access to additional information, underscoring the importance of effective science communication for consumer adoption.”
Toubia added: “In contrast to the younger eager adopters, the older generations are more wary of change. Social proof is important to them and they want to be assured that a product is safe, functional, and beneficial before they adopt it.”
Date published: 11 May 2021