Record nummer 1926634
Titel Will novel protein foods beat meat? : consumer acceptance of meat substitutes - a multidisciplinary research approach
toon extra info.
Annet C. Hoek
Auteur(s) Hoek, A.C.
Uitgever [S.l. : s.n.]
Jaar van uitgave 2010
Pagina's 218 p fig., tab
Annotatie(s) Proefschrift Wageningen  toon alle annotatie(s)
Met lit. opg. - Met samenvatting in het Engels en Nederlands
ISBN 9789085855361
Tutor(s) Graaf, Prof. Dr. Ir. C. de ; Boekel, Prof. Dr. Ir. M.A.J.S. van ; Luning, Dr. Ir. P.A.
Promotiedatum 2010-01-12
Proefschrift nr. 4765
Samenvatting door auteur toon abstract
Meat production places a heavy burden on the environment and therefore options are sought to reduce meat consumption. One option is to let new meat substitutes take the place of meat on the plate. This can only succeed when these products are acceptable to consumers. The thesis investigated which factors are involved in consumer acceptance of meat substitutes to reduce the consumption of meat.
Looking back in time, it becomes apparent that in development and acceptance of food substitutes, like margarine and sugar substitutes, different factors played a role. Technology advances and governmental policy measures could create favourable preconditions but the degree of replacement ultimately depended on consumer acceptance. This required a product quality comparable to the original products and a fit with consumer needs. The process of substitution generally takes many years, both from consumer acceptance and from product development point of view.
First of all, consumers need to have a reason to choose for meat substitutes instead of meat. Therefore, drivers and barriers to use meat substitutes were identified by two surveys. Opposed to the ethical motives of heavy-users of meat substitutes (mainly vegetarians), non-users and light/medium-users were primarily focussed on the sensory and familiarity aspects of foods. These aspects were not at all recognized in meat substitutes by these consumers. Meat was judged more positively overall, which explains the choice for meat. In addition, food neophobia (the tendency to avoid new foods) was a large barrier for initial trial and a meat-like meat substitute was preferred to begin with.
Secondly, the identification of a product as an alternative to meat is important. A categorization study showed that consumer perceptions are largely influenced by a deep-rooted taxonomic classification of meat (e.g. beef, pork). In order to be considered as an alternative to meat, a certain degree of similarity is needed. Meat substitutes were grouped together with processed meats (like sausages) due to a similar appearance and similar application in meals, but not with unprocessed meats. New concepts that were radically different from meat in appearance were not at all recognized as alternatives.
In the third place, meat substitutes need to result in a comparable product experience as meat, such as satiety feelings after eating. The protein content is an important factor in satiety. A product inventory indicated that the majority of meat substitutes has a lower protein content than meat. In a consumption study it was shown that meat substitutes high in protein were able to induce stronger feelings of satiety, even more than the meat reference products. However, meat substitutes with a low protein content were less satiating.
Finally, it should be possible to eat meat substitutes regularly without getting bored. A repeated consumption test was performed with two meat substitutes and a meat reference. It was found that initially the meat reference was liked most but after 20 exposures the difference in liking disappeared. Both boredom and increased liking of products were observed. Strikingly, there were more persons with an increased liking for the meat substitute dissimilar to meat (tofu). This is in line with the mere exposure effect implicating that unfamiliar products are liked better over time.
In conclusion, meat is obviously anchored in our culinary culture and it will take time to change this. The use of substitutes introduces specific challenges due to a direct comparison and competition with meat. Meat substitutes need to offer additional benefits, which is not yet the case for the majority of consumers. At present, it seems too early for radically new protein products, since a certain level of similarity to meat is essential. Improvement of the sensory appeal of meat substitutes needs to be continued and it is worthwhile to explore other options further, like combined plant/ meat protein products.


Meat production places a heavy burden on the environment and therefore options are sought to reduce meat consumption. One option is to let new meat substitutes take the place of meat on the plate. This can only succeed when these products are acceptable to consumers. The thesis investigated which factors are involved in consumer acceptance of meat substitutes to reduce the consumption of meat.
Looking back in time, it becomes apparent that in development and acceptance of food substitutes, like margarine and sugar substitutes, different factors played a role. Technology advances and governmental policy measures could create favourable preconditions but the degree of replacement ultimately depended on consumer acceptance. This required a product quality comparable to the original products and a fit with consumer needs. The process of substitution generally takes many years, both from consumer acceptance and from product development point of view.
First of all, consumers need to have a reason to choose for meat substitutes instead of meat. Therefore, drivers and barriers to use meat substitutes were identified by two surveys. Opposed to the ethical motives of heavy-users of meat substitutes (mainly vegetarians), non-users and light/medium-users were primarily focussed on the sensory and familiarity aspects of foods. These aspects were not at all recognized in meat substitutes by these consumers. Meat was judged more positively overall, which explains the choice for meat. In addition, food neophobia (the tendency to avoid new foods) was a large barrier for initial trial and a meat-like meat substitute was preferred to begin with.
Secondly, the identification of a product as an alternative to meat is important. A categorization study showed that consumer perceptions are largely influenced by a deep-rooted taxonomic classification of meat (e.g. beef, pork). In order to be considered as an alternative to meat, a certain degree of similarity is needed. Meat substitutes were grouped together with processed meats (like sausages) due to a similar appearance and similar application in meals, but not with unprocessed meats. New concepts that were radically different from meat in appearance were not at all recognized as alternatives.
In the third place, meat substitutes need to result in a comparable product experience as meat, such as satiety feelings after eating. The protein content is an important factor in satiety. A product inventory indicated that the majority of meat substitutes has a lower protein content than meat. In a consumption study it was shown that meat substitutes high in protein were able to induce stronger feelings of satiety, even more than the meat reference products. However, meat substitutes with a low protein content were less satiating.
Finally, it should be possible to eat meat substitutes regularly without getting bored. A repeated consumption test was performed with two meat substitutes and a meat reference. It was found that initially the meat reference was liked most but after 20 exposures the difference in liking disappeared. Both boredom and increased liking of products were observed. Strikingly, there were more persons with an increased liking for the meat substitute dissimilar to meat (tofu). This is in line with the mere exposure effect implicating that unfamiliar products are liked better over time.
In conclusion, meat is obviously anchored in our culinary culture and it will take time to change this. The use of substitutes introduces specific challenges due to a direct comparison and competition with meat. Meat substitutes need to offer additional benefits, which is not yet the case for the majority of consumers. At present, it seems too early for radically new protein products, since a certain level of similarity to meat is essential. Improvement of the sensory appeal of meat substitutes needs to be continued and it is worthwhile to explore other options further, like combined plant/ meat protein products.


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Trefwoorden (cab) kunstvlees / houding van consumenten / consumentengedrag / consumentenvoorkeuren / planteiwitten / duurzaamheid (sustainability) / nieuwe eiwitten
Rubrieken Nieuwe voedingsmiddelen / Consumentengedrag
Publicatie type Proefschrift
Taal Engels
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