Calls to make plant-based alternatives cheaper than meat

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Most people want plant-based meat alternatives to be the same price as animal-based meat and to be similarly subsidised by government, states a recent survey report.

A survey carried out by food awareness organisation, ProVeg International, has found that the likelihood of people buying plant-based foods rather than the animal-meat equivalents increases dramatically when prices of the former are cheaper.

Most survey respondents (70 per cent) think that plant-based food is more expensive and less affordable than animal-based foods. Most people (59 per cent) want the government to subsidise plant-based alternatives to make them more affordable.

The survey further finds that when the cost of living rises, most people (67 per cent) prioritise saving money over making ethical decisions. In terms of health, 36 per cent of people said they would be willing to pay more for plant-based food products if they were healthier than animal-based products.

The ProVeg report, out today, is based on a survey of 1,000 consumers. Of those taking part, 66 per cent described themselves as omnivores while 24 per cent said they follow a flexitarian diet, meaning they are actively striving to reduce their meat consumption. 4 per centof people said that they follow a vegetarian diet, 4 per cent stated that they follow a pescetarian diet, and 1 per cent said their dietary lifestyle is vegan.

The findings, laid out in a report published today called “Plant-based price parity”, come amid rising meat prices due to cost of living crisis. Plant-based products, however, have not been as affected by inflationary increases since they typically have higher margins- margins on meat have been historically low, typically set at 8 per cent, while plant-based foods are sold at margins of between 35 per cent and 50 per cent.

“Those higher margins may have acted as a buffer to absorb the price blows, while with meat, supermarkets had no choice but to raise prices. This could explain why animal-based meat has been hit so hard by price increases and plant-based substitutes have not,” ProVeg’s Pablo Moleman said.