Willingness to replace animal-based products with pulses among consumers in different European countries

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The growing world population and increased meat consumption pose a challenge for current food production systems. While pulses present a promising position in terms of low impacts in primary production and high nutritional quality, it is unclear whether consumers are willing to consume pulses instead of meat. Based on an online survey answered by 4,322 respondents across five European countries, this study examined consumers’ willingness to utilize pulses as a plant-based alternative to animal-based products. More than a third of pulse consumers (42%) were, to some extent, already using pulses as an alternative to animal-based foods. Beef was noted as the most frequently replaced type of food, mainly driven by arguments relating to health, environment, and sustainability, especially relevant for German and Danish consumers. Respondents who did not indicate a current replacement of animal-based foods stated a relatively low willingness to change in the future (40%). German pulse consumers were likely to be part of the low willingness segment. In contrast, Polish consumers possessed a relatively higher incidence of using pulses instead of meat, especially pork and poultry. Respondents with a low replacement willingness indicated a high importance of future pulse-based products to be natural, while respondents already using pulses instead of animal-based foods expected convenient and minimally processed foods. Respondents, who already replaced meat with pulses or expressed a low future willingness, stated to prefer plain pulses over processed pulse-based products, and meat-resembling forms considering the former segment, alternatively to meat. These preferences and expectations should be considered for future product development, especially if aiming to attract unwilling consumers to shift to pulse-based foods.

TidsskriftFood Research International
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 2022

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
This work is financially supported by the European Union Framework Program for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Training Network “FOODENGINE” [Grant agreement 765415]. The funder played no role in the analysis of the data, interpretation of the results nor writing the manuscript.

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© 2022

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