Fake Meat Leading To Real Confusion For Consumers Over Plant-Based Meat Products

(WNAX) — A survey released last week at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association convention showed widespread consumer confusion about plant based fake meat products and the ingredients they contain. South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association President Eric Jennings says most consumers didn’t understand what they were getting with fake meat…

“I think that’s been our concern all along is that when you attach a meat label on to that product, it’s gonna draw some confusion and I think as the consumers are starting to find out now more about what’s in those products, they’re not quite as excited about them. They are heavily processed. Full of sodium and certainly not environmentally friendly so I think one of the concerns was; they didn’t realize the…how many ingredients there were in those products.”
He says some consumers just now are starting to realize what’s contained in plant-based meat…

“A package of beef has one ingredient. Those other products, the fake meat products, have a slug of ingredients. So I think that’s where the confusion is. They just…they didn’t…they weren’t looking into it very much at the get-go and so now that…that…that been out a little longer; they’re doing a little more research and finding out what’s actually in it.”
Jennings says it’s critical to have truthful labeling and all meat products regulated by the same agency so consumers can have a direct comparison to what they are buying…

“That’s where we were at from the get-go when these products first came out. Making sure that…that the…the labeling was under the auspices of the USDA because they’re the ones that label real meat right now, but it was important that that part of the government is overseeing the labeling of fake meat products so it can be an apples to apples comparison when people look at the case.”
Less than half of the 1800 respondents understood the labeling term, plant-based beef was intended to describe an entirely vegetarian or vegan food product.