Studies & Numbers

Majority of UK Consumers Could Not Buy Chicken After Seeing Images of Factory Farms

A new survey has found that the majority of UK consumers would shop and eat differently if they knew more about the factory farming of chickens. The findings show how consumers feel “kept in the dark” regarding the reality of chicken farming in the country, and more than two-thirds of respondents would buy plant-based chicken if it tasted similar. 

The survey of more than 5,000 people in the UK was commissioned by activism-focused plant-based chicken company VFC, with the key findings as follows:

  • Only 16% of people said they would buy a chicken from a factory farm once they had seen images of a typical industrial farm.
  • 80% of people thought it important to know where their food is produced, yet only 15% knew the amount of factory-farmed birds is around 95%.
VFC Five Farms Stills chicken factory farm 2
Image courtesy of VFC
  • The majority of people thought that chickens were killed at 3-6 months old when the reality is they are slaughtered at just six weeks.
  • One-third of consumers said they would be less likely to buy chicken if environmental and climate impact facts were made known on the pack.
  • More than two-thirds said they would buy plant-based chicken if it tasted as good as slaughter-based. 

As plant-based censorship comes under the spotlight in both the EU and currently Australia, the survey’s findings show the hypocrisy surrounding labeling debates between animal and plant-based products. 

Information is withheld from consumers

“It’s clear that people do not like factory farming and want more information about the provenance of their food, but they are not being told that the chicken meat on supermarket shelves came from birds who have spent their whole short lives inside a factory farm shed. More than seventy per cent of people said they would be less likely to buy chicken if the pack made clear that animals may have suffered in the production but, of course, this information is withheld from them,” states Matthew Glover, co-founder of VFC.

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