The top reason why consumers decided to eat plant-based meat alternatives is because they like to try new foods, according to a survey by the International Food Information Council (IFIC). In the study, 41% gave this response, while 30% said they were curious after hearing a lot about them, 27% said they were trying to eat less meat, and 27% thought it was better for the environment.

The survey was conducted among 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18+ in December 2019. To orient survey takers, the emerging food category was described as meatless burgers, chicken, fish, sausages and other ground products that attempt to mimic the flavor and texture of animal protein but are made with only plant products.

Survey Highlights 

  • 66% of respondents identified as omnivores.  
  • Nearly half (49%) have tried a plant alternative to animal meat 
  • Based on comparing Nutrition Facts labels, 45% believed the plant alternative was healthier than animal meat, while 25% believed the plant alternative to be unhealthier.  
  • The perceived healthfulness of the plant alternative decreased slightly after the ingredients lists were included with the Nutrition Facts 
  • Nearly one in four (23%) said that the Nutrition Facts label influenced their perception of healthfulness more than the ingredient list, while fewer said that the ingredients list influenced their perception more than Nutrition Facts (14%).  
  • Nearly half (47%) believed that plant alternatives are better for the environment than animal meat. By comparison, only 5% believed plant alternatives to be worse for the environment than animal meat.  

Read more from the IFIC report by clicking here.