Critical factors in appreciation and acceptance of meat analogues

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterProfessional


Critical factors in appreciation and acceptance of meat-analogues among consumers and chefs - a focus group study

Introduction: The urgency for a sustainable diet boosts the need for meat alternatives made from sustainably produced proteins. Meat analogues, resembling meat, can be such an alternative. To increase appreciation and acceptance of meat analogues, it is important to understand consumer’s attitudes towards such products and the factors that play a role in appreciation and acceptance. It is important to take into account that THE consumer doesn’t exist, and consumers with different beliefs may have may differ in their attitudes towards meat analogues.

The aim of this study is to gain insight in critical factors in appreciation and acceptance of meat-analogues among different groups of consumers and chefs.

Methods: Focus group discussions were performed with meat-eaters (n=14), flexitarians (n=14), vegetarians (n=13), and chefs (n=6). Groups sizes varied from 6-7 participants.
The discussions started with free associations and discussion on meat analogues. To further stimulate the discussion, three types of products, varying in structure, form and flavouring were tasted halfway the discussion.

Role of attitudes
In associating on meat replacers, the focus is mostly on taste for meat-eaters, naturalness of ingredients for vegetarians, and creating a complete culinary experience for chefs. Barriers for using meat analogues are:
- the image consumers have of the products and ingredients
- sensory attributes
- unfamiliarity with preparation
- the association with meat
Flexitarians appear to be most open to meat analogues.

Product attributes
Resemblance to meat (taste, scent and price) is important for meat-eaters and flexitarians, whereas for vegetarians and chefs the ingredients, versatility and “not looking like meat” are more important. Visual aspects, mouthfeel, texture, and pleasant smell and taste are important characteristics for all groups.

Discussion: Differences between meat-eaters, flexitarians, vegetarians and chefs imply that for these groups different products replacing meat are preferred. For meat analogues, flexitarians seem the most promising target group.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
EventEUROSENSE 2020 - Online
Duration: 13 Dec 202016 Dec 2020


ConferenceEUROSENSE 2020
Internet address


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