Study: 63% of Spanish Consumers Would Try Cultivated Meat for Animal Welfare – vegconomist
63% of Spanish consumers surveyed in a recent study said they would try cultivated meat, and 46% said they would buy it. The three primary reasons behind the willingness to consume cultivated meat were found to be animal welfare (63%), environmental concerns (50%), and curiosity (48%).
These figures were revealed by the report Consumer perception of cultured meat, conducted by the Spanish technological institute Ainia, financed by the Regional Ministry of Innovation of Valencia in the Smartmeat project framework.
Generation Z as focus group
“The profile of the potential consumer of cultivated meat has healthy eating habits and belongs mostly to Generation Z,” said Ainia. The primary roadblocks for those considering purchasing cultivated meat are price (52%), lack of knowledge (45%), and distrust (44%), it adds.
95% of consumers responded that they eat animal products in their regular diets to cover their protein needs; 23% consume vegetable protein, and 33% consume protein-enriched foods, reports Ainia. But 34% of the surveyees (one in three), claim to have reduced animal protein over the past two years, a trend led by millennials and reducetarians.
Additionally, 47% of the surveyed claim to have increased their consumption of protein-enriched foods; 53% consider that in the coming years, they will increase their consumption of vegetable protein. Still, 33% believe there is little supply of plant-based products compared to the 39% who consider the alternative offer to be sufficient.
Food companies face a challenge
However, Ainia says that reducing meat consumption will be a challenge. The UN estimates that 8,500 million people will inhabit the world in 2030. In addition to the significant demand for food to feed this population, estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) point to an increase in meat consumption of almost 73% by 2050.
According to Ainia, the objectives of the European Green Pact and 2030 Agenda include utilizing more efficient procedures and alternative proteins that guarantee equitable, nutritional, and eco-friendly food systems.
Food companies face the challenge of responding to the growing demand for animal protein with innovative alternatives based on vegetables, insects, microbial proteins, legumes, or cultured meat, among other sources, says Ainia.
Sonia Tirado, the General Director of Innovation of the Regional Ministry of Innovation of Valencia, commented, “The results of this study will be useful for companies to identify opportunities and barriers in the market for products made from cultivated meat and how they could affect aspects such as health, consumption of natural resources or animal welfare in their purchasing decision.”