58% of French meat consumers are reducing their annual meat consumption

The survey was carried out by ProVeg in partnership with the University of Copenhagen and Ghent University

A pan-European survey, called Evolving appetites: An in-depth look at attitudes towards plant-based eating and funded by the EU’s Smart Protein project, has found that 49% of meat eaters in France claim they are actively reducing their annual meat consumption. 

France’ results of the Smart Protein consumer survey show enormous potential for the country’s plant-based sector and suggest key opportunities for food companies to successfully expand their plant-based product range, in both retail and food service.

This report follows on from the European report which was published in November 2023. It finds that promising changes on the overall consumer preferences and behaviors have been made over the last two years in Europe.  

“In France, alternatives to dairy products (plant-based milks, yogurts, etc.) are the most widely distributed category, with a varied range of products that appeal to and satisfy consumers, and democratize plant-based eating. As for the other categories, access to plant-based products is still too low due to uneven distribution, especially when it comes to plant-based cheeses. On the other hand, in order to satisfy the demands of French consumers, all aspects of the product (price, nutrition, taste, quality, ethics, and packaging) need to be taken into account, as well as the fact that alternatives – particularly to meat products and cheeses – still have a poor reputation and are associated with overly processed products”. Astrid LEFOURNIER, Responsable V-Label France.

750 people in France were asked about their attitudes towards the consumption of plant-based foods, their trust in these products, their current consumption habits and the key drivers of their food choices.


  • 58% of meat consumers in France report having reduced their annual meat intake. 
  • The primary motives for reducing meat or dairy consumption are health (38%), animal welfare (30%), and the environment (29%).
  • Respondents in France plan to substitute animal-based foods with legumes (45%), legume-based foods (33%), plant-based meat alternatives (27%), and plant-based dairy alternatives (31%). 
  • Price (40%) and taste (33%) remain the key barriers to choosing plant-based alternatives.
  • 63% want policymakers to enhance transparency standards in product certifications, and 61% advocate for the removal of taxes on food that has a less negative impact on the environment.

Forthcoming webinar on the survey

A webinar will take place on 25 May 2024 between 11 am–12 noon (CET) allowing participants to learn more about consumer preferences and behaviors towards plant-based foods over the past two years. 

Those taking part will gain a deeper understanding of the long-term potential of the plant-based food industry and the extent to which further growth can be sustained. If you work in the food industry, you can’t afford to miss this webinar! Register here

For more information contact: Elsa Guadarrama at [email protected] 


Notes to Editors

Download the main report here.

For media inquiries, email Peter Rixon at [email protected]

About the Smart Protein Project 

Smart Protein is a €10-million, EU-funded project that seeks to develop a new generation of foods that are cost effective, resource efficient, and nutritious. Alternative protein sources such as legumes and side streams from beer and pasta production are used to generate plant-based ingredients and plant-based meat, seafood, dairy products, and baked goods.

About ProVeg International

Our vision is a world where everyone chooses delicious and healthy food that is good for all humans, animals, and our planet. ProVeg International is a food awareness organization with the mission to replace 50% of animal products globally with plant-based and cultivated foods by 2040.

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