Consumer curiosity fuels popularity of GMO Impossible Burger and other plant-based meats, survey shows

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McDonald's is working with Beyond Meat to offer a plant-based burger. Image: McDonald's

The top reason why consumers decided to eat plant-based meat alternatives is because they like to try new foods, according to a survey by the International Food Information Council. In the study, done [in January 2020] with 1,000 interviews of U.S. adults, 41% gave this response, while 30% said they were curious after hearing a lot about them, 27% said they were trying to eat less meat, and 27% thought it was better for the environment.

Nearly half of respondents said they had tried a plant alternative to meat. They gave several reasons they enjoyed it, but the top three were the taste (53%), meat-like texture (35%), and the fact that it tasted like meat (34%). Four out of 10 said there was nothing they didn’t like about the plant-based alternative, and 31% said they found its texture was not similar to meat.

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When comparing Nutrition Facts labels, 45% of respondents believed plant-based alternative protein was healthier than animal meat, while 25% believed the plant alternative to be unhealthier.

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About a third of those who haven’t tried the products (31%) said they didn’t think the meat alternatives would taste good. A fifth had no specific reason, while the lengthy ingredients list only kept 13% from trying them.

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