Department of Business Development and Technology

The power of initial perceived barriers versus motives shaping consumers’ willingness to eat cultured meat as a substitute for conventional meat

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  • Wim Verbeke, Ghent University
  • ,
  • Yung Hung, Ghent University
  • ,
  • Chad M. Baum
  • Hans De Steur, Ghent University

This study investigates the impact of initial perceived barriers and motives on consumers’ willingness to eat cultured meat as a substitute for conventional meat using data collected in December 2013, shortly after the introduction of the first cultured beef burger to the public. The findings are based on a novel analysis of cross-sectional data from a representative consumer sample (n = 398) from Flanders (Belgium). Improved animal welfare emerged as the strongest motive for considering whether to eat cultured meat, whereas cultured meat's perceived unnaturalness emerged as the strongest barrier. A binary logistic regression model was specified and estimated for explaining the determinants of willingness to eat cultured meat while simultaneously accounting for the effects of gender, age, vegetarianism and the terminology used. Based on the logistic regression estimates, simulations of the probability to eat cultured meat are provided for different profiles of consumers and depending on their strength of motives and perceived barriers. The use of ‘cultured’, ‘in-vitro’ or ‘synthetic’ when framing cultured meat did not significantly affect willingness to eat in the full model. Meanwhile, the likelihood of being willing to eat cultured meat was eight times larger among males compared to females; decreased by 50% per increase of 10 years in age; and was 14 times higher among non-vegetarians compared to vegetarians. A one-unit increase of the strength of motives and perceived barriers yielded, respectively, a 16-fold increase versus a 33-fold decrease of likelihood of acceptance. Perceived barriers herewith emerged as being twice as powerful in shaping consumers’ willingness to eat cultured meat as compared to motives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104705
JournalLivestock Science
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

    Research areas

  • Acceptance, Barriers, Consumer, Food, Motives, Naturalness, Proteins, Technology, Trust

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