40% of Chinese consumers are actively reducing meat consumption

A study by market research consultancy Good Growth Co and other researchers examined Chinese consumers’ attitudes towards meat consumption.

The study, published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, surveyed 1,206 consumers and found that 40 percent of respondents were actively reducing their meat consumption (though only 2.7 percent were vegetarians).

However, 60% said they had tried plant-based meat products, and half of those consumers were willing to buy again.

According to the study, health is the most compelling motivation for Chinese consumers to purchase plant-based meat products. Taste, safety, fashion and animal welfare are also important, while the environmental arguments seem to be weak. Young parents and married couples in Tier 1 cities are the most likely to purchase new protein products.

Jah Ying Chung, principal researcher at Good Growth Co, said: “This research shows the potential consumers of plant-based meat in the Chinese market that still has a lot of room to grow, and the opportunity to send targeted messages to consumers.”

China new protein market

In 2020, the Chinese government announced that it would reduce national meat consumption by 50% within ten years in an effort to combat climate change and obesity. Plus, China’s plant-based market is set to hit $12 billion next year, with new protein products described as an “unstoppable upward trend” in China.

The research also shows that the meat shortage in China is also leading to increased interest in fermented and cell-cultured meat products. China’s five-year agricultural plan included cell-cultured meat for the first time this year.

Mirte Gosker, Acting Managing Director, Good Food Institute APAC, said:
“By including game-changing food technologies such as cell-cultured meat in the 14th Five-Year Bioeconomy Development Plan issued by the National Development and Reform Commission. China intends to go all out to build the future of food, including investing in new protein in critical scientific research, as the nation does in clean energy and other high-tech fields with global impact.”