lab-based imagery report
Image: AdobeStock.com / Syda Productions

News

Tuesday, October 4th, 2022

Lab-based vs. food-based imagery and its impact on consumer perceptions of cultured meat

Given that a large portion of the population has never heard of cultured meat, to what extent do the images currently portraying cultured meat influence consumer sentiment?

ProVeg conducted a survey of 750 UK-based respondents in order to understand how lab-based and food-based images influence consumer perceptions of cultured meat. Our report on the role of images in consumer perceptions looks into consumer attitudes and understanding of cultured meat, based on exposure to different images, thus providing clear recommendations to brands and media alike when it comes to presenting cellular agriculture products to the public.

Consumers frequently see lab-based images associated with cultured meat across different media. However, the existing photos tagged as cultured or lab-grown meat on stock photo sites are usually images of conventionally produced meat placed in petri dishes. We encourage journalists and companies to use pictures of final products that give the public a more accurate idea of what cultured meat looks like.

Stephanie Jaczniakowska-McGirr

Director of Corporate Engagement at ProVeg

Key findings:

  • A poor or – or non-existent – understanding of cultured meat. In line with previous research, our survey indicates that a majority of respondents have a poor understanding of cultured meat. 57% of the 750 participants surveyed showed no understanding at all of cultured meat, while 15% had an incorrect understanding of the term, for example stating that it was “plant-based” or that it was meat which is cooked or prepared differently. Respondents also show a neutral understanding of cultured meat. After categorising responses by sentiment, 90% of respondents presented a neutral understanding of cellular agriculture. The current low levels of awareness and the neutral understanding 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.
  • Lab-based pictures are the images that are predominantly associated with cultured meat. When exposed to both lab-based and food-based images, a majority of survey respondents stated that they most frequently see lab-based pictures associated with cultured meat. This confirms the fact that lab-based images are currently the most used in media coverage of cultured meat. However, our survey shows that respondents think that both lab-based and food-based images can portray cultured meat accurately. ProVeg encourages journalists and companies to use pictures of final products that give the public a more realistic idea of what cultured meat actually looks like.
  • Food-based pictures lead to more positive sentiments towards cultured meat. Respondents who were shown food-based images view cultured meat as more appealing, tasty, nutritious, and affordable, compared to those who were shown lab-based images. When it comes to taste, 35.5% of respondents who were shown lab-based images and 47.4% of respondents who were shown food-based images agreed or strongly agreed that cultured meat is tasty. Similarly, when it comes to perceptions around nutrition and affordability, respondents who were shown food-based images were slightly more likely to agree or strongly agree that cultured meat is nutritious and affordable (54% and 40,5% respectively), compared to those who were shown lab-based images (51% and 37% respectively). 
  • Strong likelihood of trying and purchasing cultured meat. Respondents indicated a strong likelihood of trying and purchasing cultured meat regularly, as well as replacing conventional meat with cultured meat, regardless of the images presented. In our sample, 62% of respondents who were shown lab-based images and 62% of respondents who were shown food-based images said that they were likely or very likely to try cultured meat. 38.5% of respondents who were shown lab-based images and 36% of respondents who were shown food-based images stated that they were likely or very likely to regularly purchase cultured meat. 41% of respondents who were shown lab-based images and 37% of respondents who were shown food-based images said that they were likely or very likely to replace conventional meat with cultured meat. 

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.

This could also be interesting for you

Choose what interests you:

Categories
Sort by
Healthy lunch table scene with nutritious Buddha bowl, lettuce wraps, vegetables, sandwiches and salad. Above view over a wood background.

Looking forward, looking back – the plant-based journey in 2022 and predictions for 2023

On November 29, ProVeg International and Innova Market Insights will present a webinar looking…

Upside Foods Chicken salad

October highlights from the plant-based and cultivated-alternative-protein sector:  ProVeg awarded Observer Status at IPCC

ProVeg International is the first NGO focused on promoting plant-based diets to be awarded…

Webinar: Price parity as a driver of plant-based sales – meet the speakers

Earlier this year, plant-based meat in the Netherlands was reported as being cheaper on average…