Survey Most EU consumers don’t want insects and lab-grown meat

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Thursday, June 11, 2020
While consumers have little appetite for insects like this burger shown in the picture and lab-grown meat, they better accept plant-based ‘burgers’ and traditional vegetarian food (e.g. pulses) as alternative protein sources.
Photo: Imago Images / Photothek
While consumers have little appetite for insects like this burger shown in the picture and lab-grown meat, they better accept plant-based ‘burgers’ and traditional vegetarian food (e.g. pulses) as alternative protein sources.

How much attention do you pay to the impact of your food choices on the environment? Are you willing to cut down on red meat? Is the government doing enough to promote sustainable food? Those are some of the questions several national consumer groups asked to Europeans in a survey spanning 11 countries, coordinated by The European Consumer Organisazion (BEUC).The organisation unveils the results in a new report.

The main outcome is that most consumers across Europe are willing to change their eating habits. However, to get there they need the sustainable food choice to become easier (including the right price signals, improved information, and more sustainable options).

Obst und Gemüse
(Bild: Imago Images / Imagebroker)

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As the Covid-19 pandemic is rapidly transforming how consumers relate to food, the survey shows consumers were already leaning towards opting for more sustainable choices. Food is the main driver of environmental impacts generated by household consumption in the EU, followed by housing (especially space heating) and mobility (particularly the use of private cars).

Main takeaways from the survey include

  • Perception: Consumers tend to underestimate the impact of their own food habits on the environment, but most are aware of the environmental impact of food habits in general.
  • Willingness to change: Two thirds of consumers are open to changing their eating habits for the environment.
  • Barriers: Price, lack of knowledge, unclear information, and limited choice of sustainable options are what most consumers say prevent them from eating more sustainably.  
  • Meat: Just over 40% of consumers say they have either stopped eating red meat or have cut down due to environmental concerns. While consumers have little appetite for insects and lab-grown meat, they better accept plant-based ‘burgers’ and traditional vegetarian food (e.g. pulses) as alternative protein sources.
  • Government role: Only 16% of consumers feel that their government is doing enough to encourage food sustainability at production and consumption levels.
    Beyond Burger
    (Bild: Beyond Burger)

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