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The New Wave of Plant-Based Meat Products

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Plant-based meats have become increasingly common, with popular companies such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods bringing their product to the market in both restaurants and grocery stores. Preliminary data suggests that there a whole bunch of consumers that love the products, but given that plant-based meat is so new, we are still building a better overall picture of how receptive America is of it.

A few new Gallup polls released earlier this year hope to shed further light on the matter. Asking Americans about their meat consumption and their consumption of plant-based meats, the data is revealing that these products are taking off within the US. The survey showed that forty-one percent of Americans have tried a plant-based meat product at some point, which included half of Americans under age 50. 

The demographics of this data are virtually similar, with 39 percent being men and 43 percent being women. Of those that tried it, wealthier Americans were more likely to have eaten plant-based meats, with 54 percent of people making about $100K a year saying yes, compared to 31 percent of people making less than $40,000 a year. These numbers are interesting, as one hindrance in the way of mass adoption of plant-based meats is the higher cost when compared to regular meat products. 

Despite these encouraging numbers, 30 percent of Americans still say they’re “not familiar at all” with plant-based meat products. This signals a major market of Americans that have yet to be reached by these companies looking to change the way we view and eat meat products. But for those that have tried them, a large majority said they were very likely or somewhat likely to eat plant-based meat products again. 

The motivation behind eating plant-based meats continues to vary among Americans. Some advocates say they chose to eat them due to their lower impact on the environment and the animal welfare issues associated with factory farming. Others say they simply want to cut back on eating meat without having to give up the taste they know and crave. 

Nearly one in four Americans have said they have cut back on their overall meat consumption. Despite this, America actually saw an increase in meat consumption in 2019, with estimates saying 10 billion land animals were killed for consumption. While there clearly is some disconnect in the reported eating habits of Americans, the consensus is clear that plant-based meat products are striking it big with consumers in the US. With more Americans open to trying these products, it might just pave the way for them to be accepted as mainstream, something that has been the goal of fake meat products for years now. 

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