A new study in China has revealed 90% of consumers would eat cultivated meat in the country. The encouraging figures come at an important time for the emerging Chinese cultivated meat sector, with the Chinese government’s increasing emphasis on food safety and environmental sustainability.
The market report from alt protein investor Lever China and Chinese media outlet FoodPlus surveyed over 2,000 consumers across China. 90% said they would eat cultivated meat – that is meat produced by cellular agriculture – while 30% said they would make it their primary source of protein if it can achieve the same taste and texture as conventional meat. China currently consumes approximately 30% of the world’s meat, making it the largest market globally.
The numbers back up significant investment in the sector, with Chinese cultivated meat company Joes Future Food recently raising 70 million RMB ($10.9 million) in its Series A funding round. Meanwhile, Chinese startup CellX has revealed its cell cultivated pork range, and Chinese alt protein company HEROTEIN has partnered with US cell ag innovator Mission Barns to bring the first hybrid cultivated / plant-based meat products to China.
The study also found that the Chinese term for “customized meat” (订制肉) generated the greatest consumer interest in the category, with other terms used in the sector performing relatively weakly in encouraging consumption. Nomenclature is a hot topic in the field, with “cell-cultured” preferred by the United States Food and Drug Administration and “cultivated meat” encouraged by The Good Food Institute and others.
“Choosing an authentic Chinese name that can balance the technology, marketing appealing, and culture familiarity is an important step to help with the industry’s development in China. The study suggests that using the term 订制肉 (“customized meat”) can help the government and industry meet its goals in this sector by increasing public interest and willingness to try the product, which we believe is critical for building a national sustainable system of meat consumption in the future,” stated Cecilia Zhao, alternative protein project manager of Lever China.