Perceptions of Cultivated Meat in Millennial and Generation X Consumers Resident in Aotearoa New Zealand

Evidence suggests that consumer perceptions and acceptance of cultivated meat (CM) differ between countries, cultures, and consumer groups. Limited research specific to Aotearoa New Zealand (A-NZ) is available. Survey responses from 592 A-NZ residents were analysed to determine CM awareness, willingness to engage with CM, and perceived CM product attributes relative to conventional meat and plant-based meat alternatives (PBMAs). The effects of gender, age, meat/PBMA consumption frequency, CM awareness, and food neophobia on CM perceptions were determined. The statements were rated on a seven-point Likert scale. Half (52%) of the respondents agreed they were aware of CM. The awareness was higher in men compared to women (p = 0.036), higher in Millennials compared to Generation X (p = 0.022), and higher in regular compared to infrequent PBMA consumers (p = 0.0003). The willingness to engage with CM and perceived CM product attributes were consistently more positive in consumers who were aware, compared with consumers not aware of CM (p < 0.05). Being male, Millennial, low neophobic and a low meat, or high PBMA consumer was also associated with higher potential engagement and perceptions of CM to varying extents. Segmentation divided the respondents into three groups. The ‘positive’ cluster (41%) consumed more PBMAs and less meat and was more aware of CM than the ‘neutral’ (50%) and ‘negative’ (9%) clusters. In conclusion, consumers in A-NZ are not a homogenous group with regards to their perceptions and potential engagement with CM. Increasing awareness and familiarity with CM will be an important strategy to increase engagement with CM.
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Sustainability (Switzerland), 2023, 15 (5)