University of Hohenheim Launches Study on the Future of Plant-Based Foods in Europe

The University of Hohenheim has launched a study on the future of plant-based food in Europe.
© University of Hohenheim
The University of Hohenheim has launched a two-tiered, pan-European study on the acceptance and prevalence of plant-based foods. The study will be sponsored by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT).

Klaus Hadwiger. © University of Hohenheim

Millions of people across Europe now eat plant-based diets, while millions more have reduced their meat consumption. The study aims to find out whether consumers are motivated by health, ethical, environmental, or other reasons. It will also explore whether there are currently any barriers to consuming plant-based alternatives.

Additionally, the study will seek to answer other questions, such as whether plant-based substitutes should closely resemble their conventional counterparts or be noticeably distinguishable.

Several science and industry partners were involved in initiating the study, including the universities of Aarhus and Turin and companies Danone and Doehler. Food awareness organisation ProVeg International, which recently published a study finding huge potential for more plant-based products in Europe, was also involved. EIT Food’s web platform, FoodUnfolded, will be backing the project with articles and social media campaigns.

The first part of the two-tiered study is already complete, and results are expected in July 2020.

“We want to bring this type of diet closer to the population in Europe — with solid information that can be understood by everyone,” said Klaus Hadwiger, head of the project from the Research Centre for Bioeconomy at the University of Hohenheim. “There are still many misunderstandings regarding plant-based nutrition. We want to change this.