New report: the impact of lab-based vs food-based imagery on consumer perception of cultured meat


ProVeg International looks at the impact of images in the media on consumer perceptions of cultured meat. 


The way that cultured meat is portrayed in the media can have a great influence on consumer acceptance and perception of the new food, a report out this week from food awareness organization, ProVeg International, reveals. 

The report, called “The role of images in consumer perceptions of cultured meat, is based on a survey conducted by Proveg of 750 people in the UK and looks into consumer attitudes and understanding of cultured meat, based on exposure to different images.

The report also provides clear recommendations to brands and media alike on presenting cellular agriculture products to the public. 

Key findings in the report: 

  • There is a strong likelihood of trying and purchasing cultured meat in the UK, regardless of the image presented. 62% of respondents who were shown lab-based images and 62% of respondents who were shown food-based images said that they were likely or very likely to try cultured meat. 
  • Food-based pictures of cultured meat led to more positive sentiments compared to lab-based images. When presented with food-based images of cultured meat, 54% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that cultured meat is nutritious and 47% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that cultured meat is tasty. By comparison, when presented with lab-based pictures, only 51% of thought cultured meat was nutritious and only 35.5% of people thought it would be tasty.
  • In line with previous research, the ProVeg survey indicates that a majority of respondents have a poor understanding of cultured meat. A total of 57% of the 750 participants surveyed showed no understanding at all of cultured meat, while 15% had an incorrect understanding of the term, for example stating that it was “plant-based” 

“Consumers frequently see lab-based images associated with cultured meat across different media. However, the existing photos tagged as cultured or lab-grown meat on stock photo sites are usually images of conventionally produced meat placed in petri dishes. We encourage journalists and companies to use pictures of final products that give the public a more accurate idea of what cultured meat looks like.” Mathilde Alexandre, Cell-Ag Project Coordinator, said.

Download the ‘The role of imagery in consumer perceptions of cultured meat’ report here.

In addition to this report, ProVeg has compiled a communication guide to provide an understanding of who the potential consumers of cultured meat are – and which communication strategies have the potential to lead to greater acceptance. The data contained in the report will help companies more effectively target their audience as and when cultured meat receives regulatory approval in the major markets across the world.  So far, only Singapore has approved a cultured meat product for the open market.

The report, called “Communicating about cultured meat – a definitive industry guide”, can also be downloaded here.

Register for the webinar explaining the results of the reports followed by a panel discussion with David Kay, Communication Director at Upside Foods, Nick Lin-Hi, Professor of Business and Ethics at the University of Vechta, and Mathilde Alexandre, Senior Project Manager at ProVeg International.

You’ll come away from this webinar with a better view of early adopters of cultured meat, the impact of imagery on consumer attitudes towards cultured meat, and strategies to increase acceptance levels.

Date & Time: 13 October 2022, 6 pm – 7 pm CET

Register here



Notes to Editors

For media inquiries, email Mathilde Alexandre at [email protected]

About ProVeg International

ProVeg is an international food awareness organization working to transform the global food system by replacing conventional animal-based products with plant-based and cultured alternatives.

ProVeg works with international decision-making bodies, governments, food producers, investors, the media, and the general public to help the world transition to a society and economy that are less dependent on animal agriculture and more sustainable for humans, animals, and the planet.

ProVeg has permanent-observer status with the UNFCCC, is accredited for UNEA, and has received the United Nations’ Momentum for Change Award.

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