China’s Generation Z Sustainable Protein Research Report – Will Generation Z Change China’s Plant-Based Meat Industry?

With the continuous introduction of plant-based products in the Chinese market and the major breakthroughs in scientific research and product development of cell-cultured meat in recent years, sustainable protein is expected to become a mainstream food on the table of Chinese consumers. On the occasion of the first anniversary of the establishment of ProVeg International Plant Diet Association (USA) Shanghai Office, ProVeg released the “Research Report on Sustainable Protein for Generation Z in China”. The research shows that 19.3% of Generation Z consumers are flexible vegetarians Among them, 65% of young consumers know about plant-based meat, and 43% of them have eaten plant-based meat; although consumers’ awareness of cell-cultured meat is currently only 17.6%, their willingness to purchase has risen to 20.4% after the concept was prompted.

vegetarian meat

Shirley Lu, Managing Director of ProVeg Asia, said:
“Generation Z not only values ​​health, but also increasingly cares about animals and the environment. Under the opportunity of rapid innovation in sustainable protein, they will become the main driving force for the transformation of China’s meat industry.”

Dr. Cristina Tirado, Chairman and Director of Climate Action of the SHE Foundation, and the main author of the second working group health chapter of the sixth assessment report of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), also said:
“Food systems are affecting global climate change and are responsible for at least 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. This presents a huge opportunity for food adaptation and alleviating food insecurity through both demand-side and supply-side contributions. Interventions can focus on promoting Safe, healthy and sustainable eating patterns and food waste generation.”

Nearly 20% of Chinese Generation Z consumers are flexible vegetarians
The survey results show that among the surveyed Generation Z consumers, 19.3% are flexible vegetarians, 79.1% eat meat and vegetables, and 1.0% are ordinary vegetarians (eating eggs and milk) and strict vegetarians. % and 0.6%. According to a survey report by the Good Food Institute, 24% of Generation Z in the United States are flexible vegetarians.

The awareness of plant meat is high, and the awareness of cell culture meat is still in the emerging stage.
65% of Generation Z consumers are aware of plant-based meat, and 43.2% of them have eaten plant-based meat. Shanghai, student groups, and high-education groups such as postgraduate groups have the most prominent awareness of plant-based meat; in addition, plant-based meat has a higher awareness among people who are exposed to vegetarianism.

Health, safety and nutrition are the most important factors for consumers to choose sustainable protein products.
Among the respondents, as many as 31.6% expressed their willingness to buy plant-based meat, and those who had eaten plant-based meat had a significantly higher willingness to buy. Beijing and Shanghai have higher market potential; in terms of population distribution, women and highly educated people have more prominent purchase intentions. This shows that vegetable meat has a good category impression in the current market. The factors they consider most when choosing to buy plant-based meat are health, safety and nutritional factors, while their concerns include taste, safety, naturalness and nutritional value

“Animal friendliness” and “environmental protection” are expected to become new drivers of plant meat and cell culture meat market growth.
Another interesting finding is that more than 12% of consumers of both plant meat and cell cultured meat listed “animal friendliness” as the primary reason for purchasing, and even 13.5% of consumers chose cell culture meat because of its “animal friendliness”. ”, overtaking “safety” as the third largest purchase reason after health and nutrition. This may be related to the rapid increase in the number of post-95 pet owners and the escalation of the intimate relationship between people and pets, which has increased the attention of animal welfare. According to the data of China Animal Husbandry Association’s “China Pet Industry White Paper 2022”, the post-95 generation accounts for 36.8% of the pet owners, and pet owners are getting younger.