Consumers are as open to seafood labeled ‘cell based’ as they are to ‘wild caught’ and ‘farm raised’


The research found common names using the word cell — including cell-based and cultivated from the cells of — did the best in communicating to consumers that the product was created in a different way than today’s farm-raised or wild-caught seafood. More than half of consumers identified these products as produced in a different way. However, many thought that terms similar to those used in conventional farming — “cultivated” and “produced by cellular aquaculture” — actually meant the seafood was farm-raised.

For many of the terms, consumers had a slightly positive reaction and said the seafood would be moderately nutritious. The study found consumers would be equally interested in tasting seafood labeled as wild-caught, farm-raised, cell-based and produced by cellular aquaculture. Consumers also were equally likely to purchase seafood labeled as wild-caught, farm-raised, cell-based, cultivated, cultured and produced by cellular aquaculture.

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Because of the lack of confusion and slightly more favorable scores, [Rutgers University professor William Hallman] said cell-based is the best term for this kind of seafood, though cell-cultured is another option. He plans to do a wider study to determine preference between those two terms.

Cell-based and cell-cultured have become the most common ways to refer to any sort of animal meat made this way, so it is not surprising that the results came out this way. However, Hallman cautioned these particular results only pertain to seafood.

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