The verdict is in: when given a choice, people will choose clean meat. Indeed, many will even pay more for it!
To remedy this, The Good Food Institute partnered with the research organization Faunalytics to develop a proper experimental study that would gauge public opinion regarding clean meat (rather than manipulate opinion via a push poll). Thanks to funding from Animal Charity Evaluators and design, planning, and analysis by Faunalytics, we now have the results of the first accurate survey of the public’s opinion of clean meat.
The results, which can be viewed in greater detail here, are exceptionally encouraging:
- Two-thirds of Americans are willing to try meat grown from cells without slaughtering animals.
- A majority were willing to eat clean meat as a replacement for conventional meat.
- Forty percent said they would pay a premium for clean meat.
The survey also found that more than half believed clean meat would be healthy, safe, and environmentally friendlier than conventional meat, while looking and tasting the same.
The survey also tested the effect of different framing messages. During the survey, each respondent received one of four accompanying messages that:
- Described the natural side of clean meat
- Described the unnatural side of conventionally-produced meat
- Questioned the importance of naturalness
- Demonstrated the benefits that clean meat offers for people, animals, and the environment, generally.
People who learned about the unnatural aspects of conventional meat — such as the use of antibiotics and hormones, unsanitary farming conditions, and the unnatural rate of growth of farmed animals — were most likely to say they would pay more for clean meat. Almost half of people who read that message were willing to pay more for clean meat than conventional meat (47%) versus only 38% of those who read a more general message.
Even before this study, GFI was convinced that any concern about clean meat consumer acceptance is really unnecessary, as I discussed a few years ago. There simply is no widespread “ick” factor regarding clean meat. Rather, people are significantly uncomfortable with conventional meat and are looking for an alternative that competes on taste, price, and convenience. That fact has been corroborated yet again in this survey.
Even in this very short survey, accurately describing clean meat and talking about its benefits convinced consumers that it’s a product they want to consume — in a real-world scenario over time, these numbers should be even better.
The complete research report, additional analysis, and infographics are available from Faunalytics on their clean meat page. These materials include detail on consumer attitudes and reported willingness to pay as well as the full text of all messages.