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Tuesday, October 4th, 2022

Cultured Meat Communication 101

Cultured meat has many benefits in terms of taste, health, food justice, animal welfare, and the environment. However, before cellular agriculture enters the mass market, it is important to educate and inform various stakeholders in society about cultured products. How cultured meat is portrayed is likely to have a significant impact on its future acceptance in society, which is why ProVeg has compiled a communication guide to provide an understanding of who the potential consumers of cultured meat are – and which communication strategies have the potential to lead to greater acceptance.

Cultured meat is a food product not a science experiment. It’s critical that we communicate about cultured meat in ways that will encourage consumer adoption in the future. Our research shows that using food-based images and neutral terminology, while highlighting product features and benefits such as sustainability and taste, are key to ensuring positive consumer perceptions of cultured meat.

Stephanie Jaczniakowska-McGirr

Director of Corporate Engagement at ProVeg

Understanding consumer trends and communication strategies – key findings: 

  • Current research suggests varying levels of acceptance of cultured meat, with a relatively high willingness across the world to try cultured meat.
  • Young people between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most likely to be in favour of the production of cultured meat.
  • Gender also makes a difference: across all age groups, men are more likely than women to give cultured meat a chance.
  • Other demographic factors play a role: early adopters tend to live in urban areas, identify as politically liberal, be more educated, and consume animal-based products, but are also already reducing their meat intake since they are increasingly aware of the impacts of animal agriculture.
  • Familiarity is an important driver of the purchase and acceptance of novel food products. Which is why it’s so important to communicate about the products before commercialisation takes place.
  • The current low levels of awareness around cultured meat mean that there is still plenty of room for informing the public, normalising the concept, and making it more well-known and attractive.
  • Personal benefits (e.g. health, with a reduction in pathogen contamination and  antibiotic use) outweigh societal benefits (environment and animal welfare) in terms of consumer acceptance.
  • ProVeg recommends the use of images of final products rather than petri dishes or laboratory images, as well as the use of neutral terminology to describe cultured meat products.
  • ProVeg favours a balance between technical explanations and clear messaging about the features and benefits of cultured meat. Consumer acceptance is not just about marketing but also about education and transparency.
  • When engaging with the conventional meat sector, it’s important to do so in a non-moralising and non-confrontational manner. How companies talk about cultured-meat products – not only to consumers but also to the meat industry – will be a decisive factor in their success.
  • In order to build trust, it’s important to communicate the science in an understandable way, to develop a common language in the industry to describe and talk about cultured-meat production processes, and to be transparent – before people even ask.
  • Pilot-production plans can play a great role in engaging with the public.

Download the report

If you have any questions or comments on the report, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]

Register for our webinar

What is the general trend in terms of consumer acceptance of cultured meat? What is the impact of the lab-based images that are currently being used on the public perception of cultured meat? In this webinar, hosted by ProVeg International, you’ll learn about: – Insights into consumer acceptance of cultured meat – The impact of images on consumer attitudes towards cultured meat – Best-practice examples of communication about cultured meat You’ll come away from this webinar with a better view of early adopters of cultured meat, and strategies to increase acceptance levels.

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