European Consumers Are Driving the Demand for Sustainable Protein, Survey Finds

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European consumers are keen to see more alternatives to conventional animal products, finds a new survey.

More than 60 percent of consumers across four European countries—France, Spain, Germany, and Italy—say more alternatives to meat products need to be found.

A majority of consumers said conventional animal agriculture’s impact on the environment is a concern, with 60 percent of consumers across France and Germany, 71 percent in Italy, and 66 percent in Spain saying alternatives are necessary.

The survey, commissioned by the think tank Good Food Institute and conducted by OpinionWay, asked 4,096 people about their own meat consumption habits and their thoughts on the future of food, namely sustainable protein sources.

Alternative protein demand

 “It’s great to see plant-based meat become so strongly established in many people’s diets across Europe,” Carlotte Lucas, Corporate Engagement Manager at the Good Food Institute Europe, said in a statement.

Spain's vegan Heura meat
Spain’s vegan Heura meat | Courtesy

“Companies now need to capitalise on this interest and invest in the development of products that can truly compete with conventional meat on taste and price to provide the sustainable options Europeans want. 

“And with such growing support for cultivated meat, it’s clear there will be a significant market for this food in Europe. Governments need to listen to the views of their citizens and invest in the research and infrastructure needed to ensure cultivated meat can deliver the environmental benefits so many people want to see.”

A growing number of these consumers say they’re reducing their meat consumption; the survey found 59 percent of people in France, 50 percent in Germany, 61 percent in Italy, and 58 percent in Spain have reduced their meat consumption over the last five years.

Eating plant-based meat is happening on a monthly basis for half of people in Spain and Italy, 27 percent in France, and 41 percent of Germans, the survey found. Twenty-five percent of Germans and Spaniards surveyed said they plan to increase their plant-based meat consumption in the coming years.

Cultivated meat

European consumers are already cutting down on their meat consumption, opting instead for plant-based proteins.

Mosa Meat FBS
Cultivated meatball | Courtesy Mosa Meat

They’re also interested in cultivated meat—more than half of Germans and 33 percent of French surveyed said they would buy it—even though it’s not yet approved for sale anywhere in the world outside of Singapore.

Government support is critical, the consumers said, with 38 percent in France, 56 percent in Germany, 58 percent in Italy, and 68 percent in Spain saying they want governments to support cultivated meat production.



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