‘Lab-grown’ seafood is a food marketer’s nightmare. ‘Clean’ seafood carries the tacit implication that the regular stuff is dirty. ‘Cultivated’ seafood – a term that performed well in recent research on meat & poultry – could be confused with farmed fish. However, ‘cell-based’ – while not perfect – may be the best common or usual name to describe seafood grown from animal cells on food labels, suggests new research.
This study reports the results of a nationwide survey of more than 1800 U.S. consumers who completed a choice experiment in which they selected among conventional beef and three alternative burger patties, (lab-grown, plant-based with pea protein, and plant-based with animal-like protein) at different prices. Results from random parameter logit models indicate that, holding prices constant and conditional on choosing a food product, 72% chose farm-raised beef and 28% chose one of the alternatives: 16% plant-based (pea protein) meat alternative, 7% plant-based (animal-like protein) meat alternative, and 5% lab-grown meat. Adding brand names (Certified Angus Beef, Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, and Memphis Meats) increased the share for choosing farm-raised beef to 80%.
If people are properly informed about cultured meat, most are willing to pay nearly 40 percent more for it than for ‘regular meat’, according to research from Maastricht University (UM), where Professor Mark Post created the “world’s first lab-grown hamburger” in 2013. Now at UM, a study has been conducted on consumer acceptance in which participants were able to sample meat labelled as grown in the lab.