NEW YORK — Is this the end of the old-school butcher shop? Two-thirds of Americans (67%) say they would eat cultured meat grown in a lab setting. That’s according to a recent survey of 2,001 U.S. adults who are their household’s primary grocery shoppers. Researchers discovered that people have become more open to trying meat alternatives, with 58 percent willing to eat plant-based options such as tofu, tempeh, and seitan.
However, inflation is impacting three in four (75%) shoppers’ ability to pay for ethically produced products. Nearly two-thirds (64%) add they might opt for plant-based dishes and serve less meat for the holiday season due to the rising price of meat.
Another 73 percent believe the past decade has changed how others view vegan and vegetarian stereotypes.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Farm Forward, a nonprofit whose mission is to end factory farming, the research also revealed 73 percent “always” or “often” buy products labeled “organic,” “natural,” “humanely raised,” or “sustainable.”
The main reason? Half say these labels sound more ethical, meaning these products do not harm the environment and fairly support the suppliers, growers, or producers.
One out of five shoppers don’t believe the meat they typically buy comes from factory farms, and 22 percent are unsure.
“Shoppers tend to believe wording on meat and dairy labeling is true but often it’s humanewashing, meaning that the producer is trying to paint a false picture to play on people’s desire for ethically raised food,” says Andrew deCoriolis, executive director at Farm Forward, in a statement. “The vast majority of meat purchased in grocery stores comes from factory farms where conditions are crowded and filthy.”
4 in 10 distrust what food labels say
More than three in four people (78%) would be concerned if they found out that meat labeled “humanely raised” and “free range” comes from factory farms.
Six in 10 have recently considered making or already made more ethical food choices, including supporting fair trade, an arrangement designed to help producers in growing countries achieve sustainable and equitable trade relationships (45%).
Currently, 60 percent trust food labels such as “natural” and “organic,” with 43 percent saying they would trust them more if there was a government guarantee behind each one. Eighty percent believe the government should do more to hold companies accountable for the claims they make about food products.
“The overwhelming majority of survey respondents (91%) placed the onus on the government to make brands prove they’re taking actual steps to live up to the claims on their food labels,” deCoriolis adds. “It’s time for our government to take action and make brands live up to their labels.”
This random double-opt-in survey of 2,001 U.S. adults who are the primary grocery shoppers in their household was commissioned by Farm Forward between October 3 and October 17, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).