The perception of 8- to 10-year-old Dutch children towards plant-based meat analogues

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Consumption of meat-based food products can be related to diverse health problems, while the production of meat-based food products negatively impacts the environment. A way to reduce meat production and consumption is to replace meat-based food products by meat substitutes. This would be especially effective when done by consumers who are currently eating meat. Families could play an important role in the transition from regular meat consumption towards consumption of meat substitutes. Food preferences and opinions of the children are of great influence on parents' food choice for the main meals. However, little is yet known about the perception of children regarding meat substitutes. Therefore, this study examined the perception of 8- to 10-year-old non-vegetarian Dutch children towards plant-based meat analogues. In this study, meat analogues are defined as specific meat substitutes, resembling regular meat. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 34 children. It was found that children are in general open to trying meat analogues, while playing a pivotal role in the household by requesting meat analogues for dinner. Results suggest that meat analogues’ product attributes should resemble regular meat to address the preference of children. Although the packaging should resemble the packaging of regular meat, it should also be distinguishable from regular meat by clear communication about the vegetarian content. In addition, communication about animal welfare, healthiness and environmental impact related to the meat analogues can activate positive perception around meat analogues. Stressing these aspects in product development and communication could positively influence the consumption of meat analogues among non-vegetarian children.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106264
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022


  • Child
  • Consumer perception
  • Food preference
  • Grounded theory
  • Meat analogue
  • Meat substitute


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