Investigating the market for cultivated meat as pet food:A survey analysis

Oven, Alice and Yoxon, Barbara and Milburn, Josh (2022) Investigating the market for cultivated meat as pet food:A survey analysis. PLoS ONE, 17 (12). ISSN 1932-6203

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The number of people reducing their meat consumption due to ethical and environmental concerns is growing. However, meat reducers sometimes care for omnivorous or carnivorous pets, creating the ‘vegetarian’s dilemma’. Some meat-reducers opt to feed plant-based diets to companion animals, but others express reservations. Cultivated meat offers a possible third path, but consumer perceptions of cultivated meat as pet food have received little scholarly attention. Using survey data from 729 respondents, we analyzed consumers’ willingness to feed cultivated meat to companion animals, particularly with reference to their own current dietary practices, and their own willingness to eat cultivated meat. Though not all our respondents willing to eat cultivated meat were willing to feed it to their companions, a large majority were (81.4%, 193/237). However, for those unwilling to eat cultivated meat, the story was more complicated. Vegans and vegetarians were less likely to say they would eat cultivated meat (16.4%, 39/238) than meat-eating respondents (40.3%, 198/491). However, among vegans and vegetarians who would not consume cultivated meat, the majority (55.9%, 86/154) indicated that they would still feed it to their pets. Among meat-eating respondents, only a small minority (9.6%, 11/114) unwilling to eat cultivated meat would feed it to their pets. Consequently, we suggest that the potential market for cultivated meat for pet food is markedly different from the potential market for cultivated meat from human consumption. A key concern among our respondents about feeding cultivated meat to pets was a worry that it was not healthy, indicating that there may be easy gains in cultivated pet food’s uptake through messaging relating to safety and nutritional completeness.

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03 Jan 2023 09:30
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16 Sep 2023 02:37