Report: 59% in UK Want Government to Subsidize Meat and Dairy Alternatives

A new report conducted by ProVeg International has found that a strong majority of consumers in the UK want their government to subsidize non-animal alternatives to meat and dairy.

The report, titled Plant-Based Price Parity: Exploring Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Plant-Based Food Products, found that 59% want government subsidies on meat and dairy alternatives as a means of lowering their costs. The report also found that 70% believe plant-based foods are more expensive than their animal-based counterparts.

According to the survey, 49% of respondents stated that they would choose plant-based food products if they were cheaper than the animal-based equivalent. A price reduction for plant-based burgers could increase their sells by 134% while decreasing beef sales by 14%.

Additionally, 36% were willing to pay more for alt protein products if they were healthier than meat and dairy, and in fact this has already been proven to be true in a recent peer-reviewed study.

“Our survey found that people are more likely to buy plant-based products if they are cheaper than their animal-based equivalents”, says Stephanie Jazcniakowska-McGirr, director of corporate engagement at ProVeg. “This can be done by using plant-based ingredients that are low in cost but still high in nutritional value, such as beans, lentils, peas, and oats.”

In the report 23% of consumers said they thought that plant-based alternatives should be listed at the same price as the animal-based equivalent and that this would be the maximum they would be willing to pay for it. 24% of participants said they would pay more (between £3.5 – £6) and 18% said they would only pay less (between £1 – £2.5) for the plant-based option. “In conclusion, the majority of consumers are willing to pay the same price for plant-based alternatives that they pay for animal-based products”, the report states.

As part of the survey consumers were given the price of four beef burger patties at £3 and asked what would be the most they would be willing to pay for four plant-based burger patties. 34% of consumers said they would not buy plant-based burgers in general, many stating that they prefer a wholefood diet based on fruits and vegetables or that they do not consume meat substitutes. 23% of consumers said they would pay the same for the plant-based option, stating that they think alternatives should be priced at the same price as the animal-based equivalent. 24% of participants said they would pay more (between £3.5–£6), and 18% said they would pay less (between £1–£2.5) for the plant-based option.

For the report ProVeg conducted a consumer survey in July 2022 in order to assess consumer perceptions and sentiments regarding the prices of plant-based products, compared to animal-based products. A total of 1,000 consumers in the UK, divided into five different groups of 200 people, were surveyed. Each group was given a different price for plant-based products (£2, £3, £4, and £5) and asked whether they would purchase an animal-meat burger or a plant-based burger. The full report can be found by clicking here.