Consumer Acceptance of Cultured Meat: An Updated Review (2018–2020)

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

Abstract

Cultured meat is one of a number of alternative proteins which can help to reduce the demand for meat from animals in the future. As cultured meat nears commercialization, research on consumers’ perceptions of the technology has proliferated. We build on our 2018 systematic review to identify 26 empirical studies on consumer acceptance of cultured meat published in peer-reviewed journals since then. We find support for many of the findings of our previous review, as well as novel insights into the market for cultured meat. We find evidence of a substantial market for cultured meat in many countries, as well as markets and demographics which are particularly open to the concept. Consumers mostly identified animal- and environment-related benefits, but there is plenty of potential to highlight personal benefits such as health and food safety. The safety of cultured meat and its nutritional qualities are intuitively seen as risks by some consumers, although some recognize potential benefits in these areas. Evidence suggests that acceptance can be increased with positive information, as well as frames which invoke more positive associations. We conclude by arguing that cultured meat will form one part of a varied landscape of future protein sources, each appealing to different groups of consumers to achieve an overall reduction in conventional meat consumption. We acknowledge a range of pro-cultured meat messaging strategies, and suggest that framing cultured meat as a solution to existing food safety problems may be an effective approach to increase acceptance. In the long-term, objections based in neophobia and norm violation will decrease, and widespread acceptance will depend in large part on the price and taste.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5201
JournalApplied Sciences
Volume10
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2020

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