Market & Trends

Cultivated Meat Struggles to Gain Traction Among Consumers, Survey Finds

A recent Statista Consumer Insights survey has revealed that cultivated meat still struggles to gain widespread acceptance among consumers worldwide. 

The survey, which included 2,000 to 10,000 adults aged 18 to 64 per country from January to December 2023, shows a varying willingness to try cultivated meat. According to the findings, in India, for example, one in five respondents expressed interest in trying cultivated meat, while only 9% of those surveyed in France showed interest in this new food concept.  

In the UK, where, as reported by Good Food Institute Europe, at least 23 cultivated meat companies are working to develop slaughter-free meat, 17% of respondents said they were interested in trying it. Similarly, in the United States, where two different cultivated chicken products have received regulatory approval, 16% of participants indicated their willingness to consume it.

Meanwhile, in some European countries, there appears to be a level of enthusiasm comparable to that seen in the US. Sweden and Germany have a 16% interest in cultivated meat, while in Italy, where the government has banned its production and sale, 14% of respondents were willing to try it. Spain, home to JBS-owned BioTech Foods, the country’s first cultivated meat company, had low enthusiasm at 13%.

A recent Statista Consumer Insights survey has revealed that cultivated meat still struggles to gain widespread acceptance among consumers worldwide.
© Statista

Worldwide approvals

According to the Good Food Institute, around 160 companies worldwide develop cultivated meat products, ingredients, and other inputs. However, only four countries have approved a cell-based product for consumption beyond private tasting events.

The approval of two cultivated meat products in Singapore, GOOD Meat’s cultivated chicken and Vow’s recently greenlit cultivated quail, underscores the country’s progressive approach to alternative proteins. 

Regarding consumer acceptance in Singapore, a recent survey funded by the Ministry of Education found that among a diverse multiethnic Asian population, plant-based meat has the highest acceptance rate, at 29%, followed by cultivated meat at 25% and insect-based products at 7.2%.

A chart with the world's approvals for cultivated meat products
© Elliot Swartz, Principal Scientist, Cultivated Meat at the Good Food Institute

In the USA, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved UPSIDE Foods and GOOD Meat’s cultivated chicken products. However, the products are not currently available at any restaurant. 

Similarly, Israel’s Ministry of Health has deemed the world’s first cultivated beef product developed by Aleph Farms safe for consumption, paving the way for their entry into the market. Still, Israeli consumers must wait to try the cultivated beef steaks while the company prepares for the national launch. In addition to its home country, Aleph Farms has submitted dossiers for novel food approvals in Switzerland and the UK and plans to expand its operations in Singapore.

Despite these developments, widespread acceptance of cultivated meat remains challenging. As companies look to expand their operations globally, the future of cultivated meat will depend on overcoming consumer skepticism and regulatory hurdles to bring these innovations to the market.

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