European Markets for Cultured Meat: A Comparison of Germany and France

Foods. 2020 Aug 21;9(9):1152. doi: 10.3390/foods9091152.


The negative impacts of meat consumption for animals, the environment, and human health are more pressing than ever. Although some evidence points to an ongoing reduction in meat consumption in Europe, consumers are overall unwilling to cut their meat consumption in a substantial way. The present study investigates dietary identities and perceptions of cultured meat in nationally representative samples from Germany (n = 1000) and France (n = 1000). Participants were recruited through an Ipsos panel to answer an online survey, which included questions about their current and intended consumption of conventional meat, as well as questions about their opinions of cultured meat. We find that, whilst rates of vegetarianism were relatively low in France, unrestricted meat-eaters were a minority in Germany, and concern for animal welfare was the most common reason given for meat reduction. Substantial markets for cultured meat exist in both countries, although German consumers are significantly more open to the concept than the French. Strikingly, cultured meat acceptance is significantly higher amongst agricultural and meat workers, indicating that those who are closest to existing meat production methods are most likely to prefer alternatives. We found some evidence that pro-cultured meat messages, which focus on antibiotic resistance and food safety, are significantly more persuasive than those that focus on animals or the environment. Furthermore, consumers project that they would be significantly more likely to consume cultured meat that does not contain genetically modified ingredients. Overall, we find substantially large markets for cultured meat in Germany and France, and identify some potential ways to further increase acceptance in these markets. We conclude by highlighting the most promising markets for cultured meat, and highlighting a lack of antibiotics as a potentially persuasive message about cultured meat.

Keywords: Europe; attitudes; consumer behaviour; cultured meat; meat alternatives.