A systematic review on consumer acceptance of alternative proteins: Pulses, algae, insects, plant-based meat alternatives, and cultured meat

M.C. Onwezen*, E.P. Bouwman, M.J. Reinders, H. Dagevos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Consumers’ dietary patterns have a significant impact on planetary and personal health. To address health and environmental challenges one of the many possible solutions is to substitute meat consumption with alternative protein sources. This systematic review identifies 91 articles with a focus on the drivers of consumer acceptance of five alternative proteins: pulses, algae, insects, plant-based alternative proteins, and cultured meat. This review demonstrates that acceptance of the alternative proteins included here is relatively low (compared to that of meat); acceptance of insects is lowest, followed by acceptance of cultured meat. Pulses and plant-based alternative proteins have the highest acceptance level. In general, the following drivers of acceptance consistently show to be relevant for the acceptance of various alternative proteins: motives of taste and health, familiarity, attitudes, food neophobia, disgust, and social norms. However, there are also differences in relevance between individuals and between alternative proteins. For example, for insects and other novel alternative proteins the drivers of familiarity and affective processes of food neophobia and disgust seem more relevant. As part of gaining full insight in relevant drivers of acceptance, the review also shows an overview of the intervention studies that were included in the 91 articles of the review, providing implications on how consumer acceptance can be increased. The focal areas of the intervention studies included here do not fully correspond with the current knowledge of drivers. To date, intervention studies have mainly focussed on conscious deliberations, whereas familiarity and affective factors have also been shown to be key drivers. The comprehensive overview of the most relevant factors for consumer acceptance of various categories of alternative proteins thus shows large consistencies across bodies of research. Variations can be found in the nuances showing different priorities of drivers for different proteins and different segments, showing the relevance of being context and person specific for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105058
JournalAppetite
Volume159
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021

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