A third of Britons open to trying lab-grown meat, and a quarter insects, reveals FSA survey

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AUTHOR: Fiona Holland

34% of British people are willing to try lab-grown meat while more than a quarter would try edible insects, a recent survey from the FSA (Food Standards Agency) reveals.

The survey on protein alternatives, which was carried out last December shows plant-based proteins are still the most popular alternative protein. 60% are willing to try it in comparison to a third who would try lab-grown meat and around a quarter who would try edible insects.

77% said they saw plant-based proteins as safe to consume, while half thought the same for edible insects and only 30% responded this way towards lab-grown meat.

A large portion of Britons know about alternative proteins. 80% said they had heard of edible insects, and 78% said they knew about lab-grown meat. Plant-based proteins were again however the most commonly heard of, with 90% of British people having said they knew the term.

Within the survey, when asked why they would try plant-based proteins, 44% answered that it was because they understood it to be safe to consume. When British consumers were asked why they would try cell-based meat and edible insects, the most common response was that it would be for reasons related to sustainability and the environment.

Despite the overall small number of people willing to try edible insects, two in five respondents who’d taste them, said they would if they were used in foods like burgers and falafels. 60% of Britons said they would not try edible insects whole.

Out of the respondents in the survey who did not want to try any alternative proteins, the majority of them did not want to try lab-grown meat and edible insects as they didn’t find the concept appetising, while those who didn’t want to try plant-based proteins said it was because they thought they’d prefer the taste of animal meat.

If efforts were made to highlight that edible insects and lab-grown meat are safe to eat, this group would be more likely to try alternative proteins, says the survey.

While 42% of this group said they would not be encouraged to try lab grown meat, nearly 30% said they would be tempted if they knew more about its safety.

Nearly 70% in this group said that nothing would encourage them to try edible insects, but 13% would be motivated to try it if they knew more about its safety, and 11% would try it if it was made to look more appetising.

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