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Enabling sustainable plant-forward transition: European consumer attitudes and intention to buy hybrid products

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  • Marija Banovic
  • Ada Maria Barone
  • ,
  • Daniele Asioli, University of Reading
  • ,
  • Simona Grasso, University of Reading

Although recommendations for a transition towards more plant-forward diets have been proposed and despite consumers reporting willingness to reduce meat consumption, consumer behaviour is frequently less environmentally sustainable than recommended. This calls for simpler strategies that may lead to a more optimistic view on both supply and demand side by using less rigid and more flexible approaches, such as hybrid products, combining meat and plant-based ingredients. Against this milieu, present study examines for the first-time in a cross-cultural context (Denmark, Spain, UK) and on a large consumer sample (N = 2766), attitudes and intention to buy hybrid products, while taking into account consumers individual traits related to meat attachment, health consciousness and environmental self-identity. Results show that hybrid products could be a crucial driver for enabling a successful plant-forward transition, as the meat element in these products, together with consumers’ affinity and pleasure-seeking attitudes towards meat, would facilitate consumers’ acceptance of more sustainable alternatives. Indeed, our results show that sensory perceptions play a major role in mediating the effect of consumers’ attitudes on intention to buy hybrid products. Conversely, consumers’ environmental self-identity and health consciousness have minimal to no effect on consumers’ attitudes towards hybrid products. Thus, the results of our study support the value of strategies centring on bringing the best of two worlds: the pleasurable sensory characteristics of the meat realm, and the healthiness and sustainability benefits of the plant realm. In this sense, hybrid products could be an elegant initial approach adopted by practitioners and supported by policy makers to enable a more nuanced transition from fully meat-based to plant-forward diets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104440
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by EIT Food ( https://www.eitfood.eu/ ) through the project “Consumer attitudes towards healthier processed meat products” (grant number: 20206, EIT Food Business Plan 2020).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)

    Research areas

  • Alternative protein, Consumer attitudes, European countries, Hybrid products, Plant protein, Sustainability

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