Meat-eaters try plant-based food for the first time
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Nearly half (48 percent) confessed they wouldn’t generally consider a meal to be “complete” unless it contained meat, while 38 percent were doubtful about eating plant-based alternatives altogether.
However, of those who were pleasantly surprised by meat substitutes, meat-free sausages, plant-based mince, and beef-style burgers were considered the tastiest.
And others admitted to enjoying dairy-free ice cream and chocolate, chicken-style nuggets, and meat-free sausage rolls.
Researchers at The No Meat Company, which commissioned the study, put three devout meat eaters to the test to see if they enjoyed the taste of plant-based alternatives when trying them for the first time.
The video shows participants’ shock when tucking into meat-free sausages, sausage rolls, and chicken-style wraps.
Neville Tam, from the brand, said: “There are sometimes preconceptions around plant-based foods, but our study shows that even the biggest meat fans can be pleasantly surprised by the taste and texture of meat alternatives.
“With so many great options now available on the market, it’s easier than ever before to include plant-based alternatives in your everyday food shop.
“Meat-free meal choices can be kinder to the planet, and in many cases better for you too.”
Even the biggest meat fans can be pleasantly surprised by the taste and texture of meat alternatives
Neville Tam, The No Meat Company
The study also found over a third of meat eaters (36 percent) automatically assume they won’t like a meal unless it contains either meat, fish, or dairy produce.
And seven in ten are “convinced” they could tell the difference between a plant-based or vegetarian sausage, and a meat one.
Of those who aren’t persuaded by the alternatives on the market, 36 percent say savoury is the hardest to get right.
But 38 percent think all foods are difficult to replicate, regardless of whether they are sweet or otherwise.
However, despite the scepticism, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of those polled, via OnePoll, recognise that eating plant-based foods is important for helping the environment.
When it comes to eating less meat, the top motivator was it being a healthier choice (31 percent), followed by the environmental impact (28 percent) and animal welfare (22 percent).
A savvy 22 percent thought plant-based eating would be more cost-effective, while 21 percent believe the taste was just as good as meat.
And three in ten already consider themselves to be flexitarian – reducing their intake of animal products, but not ruling them out entirely.
A further one in five (19 percent) are thinking about this route for the future, and the average respondent already has a meat-free meal twice a week.
Of these, the most popular plant-based evening meals include salads (31 percent), stir fry dishes (26 percent), and soups (25 percent).
Meanwhile 24 percent will opt for a pizza with vegan or veggie toppings, and 19 percent will make a vegetarian chilli.
But one in three of those polled admit they don’t yet eat more plant-based or vegetarian food – due to liking meat too much.
Three in ten enjoy dairy, and 24 percent still have reservations about the texture and flavour of meat substitutes.
Neville Tam added: “The research highlights there is still a way to go in changing people’s perception of meat-free food – but when people do make simple swaps to their everyday meals, they are often pleasantly surprised.
“Switching out meat for plant-based, even once or twice a week, can make a huge difference, with small steps towards a lifestyle that is better for the planet and for your health.”
MEAT-FREE FOODS ADULTS ARE MOST LIKELY TO BE PLEASANTLY SURPRISED BY:
- Meat-free sausage
- Plant-based mince
- Beef-style burger
- Dairy-free ice cream
- Dairy-free chocolate
- Chicken-style nuggets
- Chicken-style burger
- Meat-free sausage roll
- Chicken-style strips
- Plant-based pizza
- Meat-free meatballs
- Plant-based kiev
- Dairy-free cheese
- Plant-based kebab meat
- Plant-based savoury pastries
- Plant-based bacon
- Chicken-style fillet
- Plant-based eggs
- Plant-based sweet pastries
- Plant-based pie
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