If you’ve been paying attention to the happenings in Hollywood, you might think that meat will have a starring role in the next big-screen blockbuster as the evil villain. Along with the Golden Globes serving a meatless entrée at its awards ceremony, prominent actors are proclaiming that animal agriculture is responsible for climate change, with the implication that the meat and dairy industries don’t care about the planet.
The meat industry is experienced in dealing with claims that are not science-based. After all, we’ve heard for years about how meat is bad for our health. But now we are squarely in the sights of those who want to pin climate change largely on animal agriculture. Tie in the climate-focused marketing strategies of plant-based meat companies like Impossible and Beyond Meat, and it’s easy to conclude that concern about climate change is what’s driving people to seek out protein alternatives.
But is the environment truly the main driver behind the popularity of plant-based meats? At Midan, we wanted to learn more about “the why behind the buy” for these protein alternatives. This past December, we surveyed 750 meat eaters about their reasons for trying/buying plant-based meats (and cell-based meats in the future). The answers were enlightening.
Of the 415 respondents who said they might buy these products, nearly half (49%) report the primary reason for purchasing plant-based protein is their belief that it is better for their overall health. The next two top reasons were plant-based protein products contain more natural ingredients (39%) and will help them manage their weight (37%).
Concern for the environment, rather than coming in first, tied with weight management in the third slot.