Participants prepared meals using meat substitutes with guidance from a professional chef and then discussed issues relating to meat reduction and the role of meat substitutes in focus groups. By preparing meals in real time, it was possible to identify the most major obstacles in the process that consumers experience.
There are many reasons that consumers may wish to reduce their meat consumption – environmental, animal welfare, or health for example. Despite their intentions, however, they may still face difficulties in actually changing their current habits. Discussing issues relating to meat consumption, reduction, or elimination of meat from the diet with consumers who have a desire or intent to change may provide insight into the specific concerns or barriers they face. Meat substitutes may be particularly appealing to this consumer segment due to their potential as transition foods because they retain salient similarities with meat.
Using thematic analysis, four themes were identified: ambivalence, rationalisation, agency, and extrinsic factors. These themes are discussed in relation to the meat paradox, social and situational influences on food choice, and the importance of knowledge and skills in preparing meat-free meals when transitioning to a less meat-intense diet.
Poster: 14th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium (pdf, 492.66 KB)