Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

New Report Finds 42% of Japanese Consumers Would Try Cultivated Meat, While 58% Are Not Familiar with Cell-Based Foods

APAC Society for Cellular Agriculture (APAC-SCA) has released a new report revealing that 42% of Japanese consumers are open to trying cultivated meat or seafood products, “as long as they have been proven safe.” 

The report Prospect of Cultivated Meat & Seafood in Japan was commissioned by APAC-SCA and analyzed by Akira Igata, Project Lecturer at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo and Director of the Japan Association for Cellular Agriculture (JACA).

The researchers surveyed 1,000 Japanese consumers in May 2023, aiming to gain insights into their perceptions and behavioral trends related to cultivated meat and seafood. 

APAC-SCA Consumer Report: Prospect of Cultivated Meat in Japan
© APAC Society for Cellular Agriculture (APAC-SCA)

A strong emphasis on safety

The findings show that 44% of respondents considered the presence of Japanese government regulations as the most important factor in determining the safety of cell-based products.

According to the authors, this indicates the significance of close collaboration between industry stakeholders and Japanese authorities to establish clear regulatory frameworks with a strong emphasis on the safety of cultivated meat and seafood. 

Peter Yu, Program Director of APAC-SCA, emphasizes the importance of assuring consumers about the safety of these products through effective communication and multi stakeholder collaboration.

Megumi Avigail Yoshitomi,  the Representative Director of JACA, told vegconomist in a recent interview that the organization is currently working on managing and localizing information about how to secure the safety of cultivated food, to be able to explain to the authorities and consumers.

© JACA

58% not familiar with ‘cell-based foods’

The report also revealed that more than half of the Japanese respondents (58%) were not familiar with the term ‘cell-based foods,’ and only a small percentage (3%) had a detailed understanding of cultivated meat and seafood. 

The report shows that among the consumers, 37% were uncertain about what to expect from these products, while safety, health, and price were identified as the top drivers influencing the intention to try cultivated meat and seafood

“Considering that over 6 in 10 consumers (64%) are unaware if cultivated meat and seafood are safer than conventional products, there is a great opportunity and incentive for close collaboration between the government and industry to engage consumers in the food safety dialogue for cultivated meat and seafood,” Yu commented.

IntegriCulture cell cultivated meat
© IntegriCulture

Younger generations show interest

Regarding the younger generation of Japanese consumers, the survey found that more than half of men in their twenties had heard of “cell-based foods,” and almost 30% expressed interest in trying them. Additionally, a significant 62% of young Japanese men stated that they would consume these products if they were prepared as meals.

Igata highlights the importance for companies to pay attention to the preferences of the next generation of Japanese consumers in order to break into the market successfully.

“Perhaps most importantly, one third of the respondents in their twenties did not select any options when being asked to choose from a list of potential concerns they may have about cell-based food. Understanding the proclivities of the next generation of Japanese consumers would be critical for companies interested in breaking into the Japanese market,” Igata adds.

APAC-SCA is a collective dedicated to driving innovation in the Cellular Agriculture sector. They aim to establish and implement strategic frameworks to advance cultivated meat and seafood to meet the growing demand for protein in a healthier, more secure, and sustainable manner. Its partner companies include Shiok Meats, Aleph Farms, Avant Meats, CellX, and IntegriCulture, among others.




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