Widespread consumer distrust in the meat and dairy industry is a surprising finding in Hartman’s “Food & Technology 2019: From Plant-based to Lab-grown” report. 
Bellevue, WA — Rising demand for plant-based alternative meat and dairy products may not be the biggest problem facing conventional meat and dairy producers. New research by The Hartman Group uncovered that almost all consumers — whether they purchase plant-based foods or not — have some level of distrust in meat and dairy companies/producers. 
According to its Food & Technology 2019: From Plant-based to Lab-grown report, the majority of consumers see plant-based alternatives as no different or better than conventional meat and dairy when it comes to being all natural, minimally processed, healthy and good for the environment and animals. This is true regardless of the plant-based category. 
“Factory farming and its abuses have made consumers question the ethics of eating animal products; popular documentaries have eroded trust in the meat/dairy industries,” said Laurie Demeritt, CEO of The Hartman Group. “The upside for the industries is that for the vast majority of consumers, meat and dairy still represent highly symbolic, routine, and pleasurable categories.”
Food & Technology 2019 finds that milk, meat, and dairy alternatives are growing swiftly, while meat is growing slowly and milk is in decline. Over half of consumers (51%) have purchased plant-based milk, dairy, or meat in the last three months. These products are no longer a niche lifestyle choice but a prominent feature of mainstream food culture.
Plant-based purchasing today is happening in a cultural atmosphere that is very different from the moralistic, sustainability-driven vegetarianism of the 1970s. Less than half of plant-based purchasers today think of themselves as people who are limiting meat, and 1 in 5 actually describes themselves as carnivores.
About Hartman’s Food & Technology 2019 Report

Food & Technology 2019: From Plant-based to Lab-grown explores the tensions at the cutting edge of food technology from the consumer point of view. As more consumers than ever question the health, ethical, and environmental implications of animal products, innovative plant-based meat and dairy alternatives are taking the packaged food world by storm.

Learn more about consumers’ motivations for purchasing plant-based alternatives. You can read about Hartman’s Food & Technology 2019 report here: 

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