Are plant-based alternatives cutting into meat consumption?

Shoppers are finding more plant-based meal alternatives in supermarkets.

Kansas State University set out to answer the question: “Are those new options cutting into beef consumption?” They wanted to know the impact on U.S. beef demand, and what producers are up against.

They conducted a large, nationwide survey of consumers and four experiments.

According to economist Dr. Glynn Tonsor, “One of the experiments was, ‘what is the impact of a plant-based item being added to a restaurant menu in place of a chicken wrap?’ And we looked at what does that do to the share of people picking a beef burger and so forth. There’s a small decline in beef burger selections when that happens, but it’s small. A less than 3 percent change.”

He says that could change over time as the quality of plant-based products goes up and the price comes down.


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