'Would you eat cultured meat?': consumers' reactions and attitude formation in Belgium, Portugal and the United Kingdom

Wim Verbeke, Afrodita Marcu, Pieter Rutsaert, Rui Gaspar, Beate Seibt, Dave Fletcher, Julie Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Citations (Scopus)
182 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Cultured meat has evolved from an idea and concept into a reality with the August 2013 cultured hamburger tasting in London. Still, how consumers conceive cultured meat is largely an open question. This study addresses consumers' reactions and attitude formation towards cultured meat through analyzing focus group discussions and online deliberations with 179 meat consumers from Belgium, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Initial reactions when learning about cultured meat were underpinned by feelings of disgust and considerations of unnaturalness. Consumers saw few direct personal benefits but they were more open to perceiving global societal benefits relating to the environment and global food security. Both personal and societal risks were framed in terms of uncertainties about safety and health, and possible adverse societal consequences dealing with loss of farming and eating traditions and rural livelihoods. Further reflection pertained to skepticism about 'the inevitable' scientific progress, concern about risk governance and control, and need for regulation and proper labeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-58
Number of pages10
JournalMeat Science
Volume102
Early online date8 Dec 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

Keywords

  • Attitude
  • Consumer
  • Cultured
  • In-vitro
  • Meat
  • Synthetic

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