La revue Viandes et produits carnés

La revue française de la recherche en viandes et produits carnés  ISSN  2555-8560




What do the French think about cultured muscle cells to produce meat?

Opinions, perception and attitudes of French consumers regarding the new biotechnology aimed at producing meat from cultured muscle.

This research aimed to study consumer perception of “cultured meat”, which is the subject of scientific questions despite media enthusiasm. For this, an internet survey in French on Google Forms was distributed on social networks. The sampling of respondents, although very substantial (4,533 responses), slightly differs from the average characteristics of the French population by an over-representation of young people between 18 and 30 years of age (42.7%), of people familiar with the meat sector (28.0%) or scientists (52.6%). About 40 to 50% of the respondents believe that livestock face ethical and environmental issues. However, only 18% to 26% of them believe that “artificial meat” can solve these difficulties and a majority thinks that artificial meat will not be as healthy and tasty as conventional meat. In addition, between 41.5% and 66.7% of the respondents, according to different demographics, consider that “cultured meat” is an “absurd and/or disgusting” idea, 26.9% on average an “intriguing and/or funny” idea, and 18.7% a “promising and/or feasible” idea. On average, 91.7% of the respondents would not like to buy “artificial meat” at a higher price than conventional meat, with only 25.6% being ready to pay for it at the same price. Respondents who are unfamiliar with “artificial meat”, or young people (between 18 and 30 years of age) especially women, seem more favorable towards this biotechnology because of a greater sensitivity to ethical or environmental questions related to animal husbandry. On the contrary, older men (more than 51 years of age) are the most reluctant. Unlike in previous work, people who have heard of “artificial meat” do not seem to accept it more. In addition, meat professionals are generally strongly opposed to it. According to this survey, the “artificial meat” market would represent at best a niche market targeting about a fifth of the French population, while another fifth of the respondents believes that “artificial meat” has no future. About half of the respondents, however, consider this innovation to be “absurd and/or disgusting” rather than “intriguing and/or funny”, or, to a lower extent “promising and/or achievable”.

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