Studies & Numbers

Study Finds Singaporean Meat Consumers Prefer the Term ‘Cultivated Meat’

Researchers from Singapore Management University (SMU) conducted a study to determine what nomenclature used to describe cultivated meat would appeal to meat eaters, including consumers who have eaten cultivated meat in Singapore — the first country to approve the commercialization of a cultivated meat product (GOOD Meat’s cultivated chicken).

According to the findings, among the terms ‘lab-grown meat’, ‘animal-free meat’, ‘cultured meat’, ‘clean meat’ or ‘cell-based meat’, ‘cultivated meat’ emerged as the preferred name and was strongly associated with positive attitudes toward this novel food. 

“That ‘cultivated meat‘ was the preferred terminology is insightful. Having a single, universally accepted term to describe this novel food technology not only helps to foster greater consumer understanding and acceptance but also reduces confusion about this new food source,” says Professor Mark Chong, lead author of the research.

UPSIDE Foods receives regulatory approval to produce and sell its cultivated chicken in the US
Image courtesy of UPSIDE Foods

Cell cultivated chicken

2019 consumer research study conducted by UPSIDE Foods, The Good Food Institute (GFI), and Mattson, an independent food and beverage innovation firm, also concluded that cultivated meat was consumer’s preferred choice. Since then, ‘cultivated meat’ has been the most used term among cellular agriculture companies and food tech investors. However, UPSIDE Foods and GOOD Meat received approval from the FDA earlier this year to commercialize its products in the US under ‘cell-cultivated chicken.’ 

Promoting cultivated meat

Additionally, the SMU researchers explored which frames were the most appealing to consumers of cultivated meat in Singapore: benefits to health, to society, to the environment, or benefits to animals.

Surprisingly, according to the results, no single frame was most effective in fostering acceptance of cultivated meat among meat eaters. The only exception was for those frames related to animal welfare and the environment (reducing carbon emissions and global warming), which increased acceptance among Buddhists.

GOOD Meat & Chef José Andrés debut cultivated chicken dish in historic US first-sale
Image courtesy of GOOD Meat

The study also examined whether perceptions of the naturalness of cultivated meat varied across different age groups, showing no consistent relationship between age, perceived naturalness, and the acceptance of cultivated meat.  

In addition, the study found unexpected results. People who think cultivated meat is not natural are more likely to see benefits in cultivated meat and are more willing to consume it, findings that, according to the authors, are unique and have not been previously documented in the research literature.

“Our findings suggest that as there was no significant difference in the influence of the five frames on overall consumer acceptance, hence cultivated meat companies and the Singapore food authorities can consider using each of the five frames interchangeably to promote cultivated meat in Singapore,” states Chong. 

The paper Effects of Framing, Nomenclature, and Aversion to Tampering with Nature on Consumer Acceptance of Cultivated Meat in Singapore has been recently published in the Journal of Environment Psychology.




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