Are you among the 41% of Spaniards willing to taste the cultured meat?

We have carried out the first survey of cultured meat in Spain! The aim was to analyze the perception we have of a new product, still unknown but called to lead the future of food. If you want to know the result, read on!

One of the biggest obstacles facing any innovative product is the lack of knowledge that we as consumers have. Even more, if we talk about food. A concrete definition of the product, which clearly explains its preparation and origin is very important.

Cultured meat is based on the natural construction of tissues from animal cells, developing controlled biological environments but without genetic modification. This process results in obtaining animal meat that respects the animal welfare since it avoids their sacrifice (the cell sample obtained from a simple biopsy). The purpose is to offer the consumer a product of high protein content, completely natural, nutritious, and sustainable with the environment, with savings in land and water resources and emissions generated by intensive livestock farming.

More demanding and aware of animal welfare

The main conclusion is that 41% of Spanish buyers say that they will probably taste the grown meat when it reaches the market. Of these, 21.7% say that “for sure” they would be willing to try these products. Men (24.1%) are somewhat more likely to test “for sure” than women (19.3%). Moreover, for an additional 19%, it would be “likely” to do so. On the other hand, 22% are still reluctant to try meat produced by non-traditional means.

Age matters too. 24% of respondents between the ages of 20 and 40 would try cultured meat, while for those between 41 and 55 the figure drops slightly to 19%.

While 85% of respondents define themselves as consumers of any type of meat, 35% say they have heard, read, or seen news and reports about the transmission of animal diseases to humans through food. Concern about these diseases is a very important variable in purchasing habits.

You should always look at what it says on the label! Logical. Nutritional values turn out to be another of the decisive aspects when it comes to valuing a food product. In this respect, 35% of surveyed consider that the composition of food is key to putting it in the shopping basket.

One of every three citizens considers cultivated meat to be healthier

And what is the overall assessment made by consumers? Well, 33.5% of those surveyed perceive these future meat products produced by non-traditional means to be healthier, in front of traditional industrial farming. Also, this type of products, among which is the ‘cultivated meat’, tend to project very appreciated values in our current society such as greater animal welfare (53%), food safety (40%), respect for the environment (42%) or benefits for people with obesity and cholesterol problems (38%).

Surveyed who are willing to try cultured meat admit that the aspects they find most convincing are the composition of the product (35%), its commitment to animal welfare (34%), and its nutritional values (24%).

However, the level of importance they place on each quality of cultured meat varies by age. Thus, for those who are between 20 and 40 years old, the most outstanding feature of the product is its commitment to animal welfare (71%) and no fat in its composition (70%). When we talk about consumers between 41 and 55 years old, the most valued thing is the nutritional value (70%) and healthy effect on people (60%). 

In general, less environmental impact and the need to raise animals, and the lower risks for public health are the possible benefits of cultured meat that are most attractive in our society and other countries.

Price is another aspect to consider when marketing a new product. 31% of surveyed believe that products made from cultured meat will have similar prices to traditional meat products. Conversely, 29% think that cultured meat products will have higher prices.

Would you be willing to try cultured meat?

[The survey was carried out through 1,000 online interviews (statistical margin of error of ± 3.2%), from 20 to 55 years old, currently living in five big Spanish cities based on weighting criterion on their populations: Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid, Seville, and Valencia. The average age of the respondents was 39,7].

Cell culture is already in the kitchen

More and more kitchen professionals from different parts of the world are experimenting with cell culture products already on the market such as ‘meat’ from vegetables or fish that does not involve sacrifice. A door to new textures and flavors that already attracts the interest of even Michelin-starred references in Spanish gastronomy. We invite you to learn “what’s cooking” in the most innovative kitchens!

Alternative protein foods are gaining ground in the proposals of famous chefs who are daring enough to offer 100% plant-based menus to surprise their guests. Innovation and haute cuisine have always got along well, so this should be no exception…

Food trends are highly considered in the international gastronomy field, since, in some way, the evolution of cuisine must not only walk in parallel to the demand and needs of consumers but ahead in many occasions. Gluten-free dishes, vegan proposals, or for raw-vegetarians, sugar-free desserts… In this sense, the concern for moderating the consumption of products of animal origin is growing and more and more consumers are questioning whether it is necessary to eat so much meat and fish to have a balanced diet. 

‘Planted-based’

Matthew Kenney is one of the pioneers of plant-based cooking and a true champion of the ‘raw food’ or food trend that bets on the least cooked food possible. Kenney is often involved in documentaries that raise new questions about the global food supply, its impact on the environment, and the necessary change in the animal industry. His conceptual menu Folia based on plants has been one of the novel bets of the Four Seasons Dubai Hotel, in the United Arab Emirates, by the hand of the local investor Khaled bin Alwaleed, who is also very involved in alternative proteins and the startups of cellular agriculture in Silicon Valley.

Another exponent of the ‘planted based’ trend is the veteran chef Ron De Santis. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, De Santis has cooked for the White House diplomatic corps and served as director of Culinary Excellence at Yale University. He is currently the culinary director of a Missouri-based company specializing in plant-based beef, pork, chicken, crab, and Italian sausage. His work consists of transforming conventional dishes into vegetable ‘meat’ dishes, which the chef qualifies as “great quality” due to their natural flavor, attractive texture, and healthy profile.

Without having to travel so far, the Spanish Michelin starred chef Jordi Esteve recognizes a “special attraction for challenges”, which is why, on the occasion of the celebration of Environment Week 2020, he prepared a plant-based menu made up of four dishes and a dessert in his ‘Nectari’ restaurant in Barcelona. Fingers, Mexican taco, cannelloni gratin, paella, and stuffed éclair to close the circle were the protagonists of his letter with an environmental wink. He made it from the product of a Catalan company that imitates the taste and texture of chicken but whose main component is soy. Esteve admits that the exploration of soy protein has been “a whole process of discovering the great potential in the mouth and firm textures that allow a thousand recipes to be made”.

Cell-based seafood

Concerning products based on fish cells, which are intended to help curb the overexploitation of the oceans, we must mention the American chef Gerard Viverito. He has become a gastronomic advisor to a company based in San Diego (USA) that works with this type of marine cell culture. The chef has already done several show cookings in which he has prepared everything from appetizers to soups and main dishes such as fish tacos, seafood pudding, poke, or ceviche. Viverito says he is “excited” to cook with a cell-based product like tuna tail that “represents sustainability and support for biodiversity in a new way. Another advantage he points out is that you don’t have to worry about fish bones, scales, or having to throw away unused parts of the fish.

The truth is, who thought decades ago that seaweed could reach the table? Well, the ‘chef of the sea’ Angel Leon bet hard for it and its restaurant Aponiente, in Cadiz, is now an icon of haute cuisine thanks, among other things, its famous pure plankton rice with aioli.

Cultured meat of animal cells, almost ready

One of the objectives of Ethicameat’s cultured meat is to contribute to expanding the choices of a menu that is highly committed to the environment and animal welfare. In this sense, it is worth remembering that from the cells extracted during a year from a single pig -without the need to resort to slaughter-, the same amount of meat can be produced as that obtained from 400 animals in the traditional model that involves their slaughter. The raw material is already on its way. Once the cultivated meat is ready for consumption, it will be the masters of the kitchen of the future who will surprise us with the most exquisite recipes.

The vegan shopping basket, a more ‘eco’ world

Much of Spanish consumption has been influenced by the emergence of a new global ethic that puts the welfare of animals and nature ahead of price or trends. In this sense, there has been a real boom in the natural, ecological, and vegan. From toothpaste to meat without animal sacrifice: the future of the shopping basket is ‘eco’.

New consumer demands for environmental sustainability have led to a paradigm shift in the production of goods and services. The trend towards vegan products is a reality that is gradually taking hold in Spain. In our country, 7.8% of the population declare themselves “veggie”, almost four million people. In this broad term converge vegans (people who do not consume any products of animal origin), vegetarians (people who consume mostly products of vegetable origin and occasionally some products of animal origin such as eggs, milk or honey) and flexitarians (people who in their diet give preference to products of vegetable origin occasionally consuming meat, seafood or fish).

We analyze below some of the reasons why it is estimated that this market will reach more than 4,400 million euros in 2020, to supply the almost 500 million ‘veggies’ in the world, approximately 6.6% of the world’s population.

Veggie trend, beyond a fad

According to data from The Green Revolution, a report produced by the consultancy firm Lantern in 2019, the reasons why the so-called “veggies” are betting on this type of product are based on three very definite reasons: for ethical and animalistic sensitivity, for the sustainability of the planet and health. Their weight is such that together they have motivated a notable increase in this type of product in recent years, making the “veggie” market a rising novelty for companies not only in the food sector, but also in the textile, cosmetic and all other sectors.

The profile of this type of consumer is a clue as to where this growing demand for goods and services is focused, since 51.2% of vegetarian and vegan consumers live in large cities. Moreover, they tend to be mostly women, more than 65% of a new generation whose commitment to animal welfare pushes them to choose products of plant origin in their daily lives and, in many cases, to adopt veganism as a philosophy of life.

With this growing trend towards products that are more committed to animal welfare, we find a market share with a power of attraction that is beginning to attract the attention of companies all over the world, from large multinationals to small companies that have seen in this change of priorities in the consumption of goods and services the door to a new production model based on environmental sustainability. Many products seek to satisfy these new market demands, from vegan toothpaste to wooden toys produced without chemicals. There is a wide spectrum of needs to be covered from the “veggie” side, but how do you recognize a product that meets the vegan commitment?

Vegan stamps, authenticity versus fashion

Vegan product certifications are in full swing due to the sustainability boom and its impact on the marketing world. Many companies have signed up to this sustainable trend, but how do you differentiate between “greenwashing” and a real vegan product? 

Although there is currently no official approval for the use of the term ‘vegan’ or ‘vegetarian’ on the labeling of products sold in this way in the EU, the consumer finds a useful tool in several quality seals or certificates. These labels are endorsed by experts who certify whether a product is truly vegan or just responds to a marketing strategy to attract the consumer. This information is usually included in the product packaging or labels, making it easy to identify at a glance.

The best known within the EU is the V-LABEL, with more than 10,000 products and services tested and a presence in 27 countries, but there are others around the world such as the Vegan seal in the UK, the Vegan seal in Latin America or the Certified Vegan (Vegan.org), from the United States.

Ethicameat’s commitment

Awareness of animal welfare is growing in our society. And this is precisely one of the commitments that drive Ethicameat’s innovative project: the production of sustainably grown meat, without animal sacrifice, high in protein, and without antibiotics. We believe that the choice to consume meat must also mean respect for animal life and care for the environment today.