Situational appropriateness of meat products, meat substitutes and meat alternatives as perceived by Dutch consumers

Johanna E. Elzerman, Lenneke Keulemans, Rosalie Sap, Pieternel A. Luning*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The development of meat substitutes could contribute to a more sustainable food production system. Although the consumption of meat substitutes in the Netherlands has grown over the last decades, meat consumption stayed roughly the same. This led to the question of whether meat substitutes fit in the same usage situations as meat products do. Perceived situational appropriateness of meat, meat substitutes and other meat alternatives in different usage situations was studied using an item-by-use appropriateness survey. Products were presented via photographs and for each combination of product and situation, the appropriateness was rated on a 7-point scale. Personal information included the consumption of meat and meat substitutes and Food Neophobia. An exploratory survey was conducted in 2004 and an online survey in 2019. Overall, meat products were perceived as more appropriate than their vegetarian equivalents (e.g. hamburger vs. vegetarian hamburger) in almost all situations. Meat alternatives (chickpeas, nuts) scored generally higher than meat substitutes on situational appropriateness. Age and gender affected appropriateness ratings: women and younger respondents gave higher ratings to meat substitutes and meat alternatives. Food Neophobia showed a small effect. Meat substitute consumption frequency was a predictor of overall appropriateness in 2019, where it was not in 2004. Results underpin that situational appropriateness and consumer characteristics should be taken into account in new product development of meat substitutes. Furthermore, meat alternatives like chickpeas and nuts could also contribute to the reduction of meat consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104108
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Early online date23 Oct 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Oct 2020


  • Consumer acceptance
  • Item-by-use appropriateness questionnaire
  • Meat
  • Meat alternative
  • Meat substitute
  • Protein foods
  • Situational context

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