Experts Say Effective Communication Can Promote Consumer Acceptance of Cultured MeatJune 7, 2023
Researchers from the University of California Los Angeles reviewed the reasons for consumer resistance against cultured meat. Based on their findings, they proposed communication measures to promote education about its production and benefits, which can improve acceptance among consumers.
The main barriers to consumer acceptance of cultured meat identified by the experts are as follows:
- distrust of cultured meat, including distrust in science, the food industry, and food safety.
- lack of awareness of the environmental impacts of meat production, which can hinder consumer appreciation for cultured meat.
- the perceived unnaturalness of cultured meat—consumers tend to be more open to cultured meat if it is described as ‘clean meat' rather than ‘lab-grown meat'.
The solutions they are proposing include the following:
- Educate consumers about the process and technology involved in producing cultured meat to foster transparency, increase trust, and combat food neophobia which will improve public acceptance.
- Emphasize alternative meat production's environmental and health benefits to increase consumers' willingness to eat cultured meat.
- Promote balance between promoting trust among consumers and conveying the safety and value of cultured meat in clear and concise manner that the public will easily understand.
Moving forward, their recommendations to improve the acceptance of cultured meat by the public are as follows:
- Assess attitudes within specific food contexts rather than attitudes in general when studying consumer acceptance of cultured meat.
- Apply a double-pronged, simultaneous approach in which some interventions focus on testing mechanisms that drive acceptance. In contrast, others apply integrative models to observe the effects of targeting multiple factors.
- Address regulations, financial incentives, accessibility, and social inequalities related to meat consumption and the desirability of cultured meat to create a systematic and lasting change in how consumers view and eat meat.
Read the full paper in Trends in Cognitive Sciences for more information.
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