Over 50% of Europeans Are Eating Less Meat, But Taste and Price Remain Biggest Barriers to Plant-Based Uptake

A Study has found that more than half of European consumers are eating less meat and a growing proportion are choosing to eat plant-based foods on a weekly basis, but taste and price remain the biggest barriers to wider adoption of plant-based foods.

More than 7,500 adults across 10 European countries – Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, and the UK – were asked about their attitudes towards the consumption of plant-based foods, their trust in these products, their current consumption habits and the key drivers of their food choices.

51% of participants say they have reduced their conventional meat intake – an increase from when the same study took place two years ago. The main motivator among people reducing their conventional meat consumption was health (47%), with animal welfare (29%) and the environment (26%) also playing important roles.

28% of respondents claim to consume plant-based foods at least once a week – a significant increase compared to 2021, when the figure was 21%. Plant-based dairy categories were the strongest performing, with 36% of respondents saying they consume plant-based milk weekly, 33% for plant-based yoghurt and 31% for plant-based cheese. The top drivers for choosing plant-based foods are taste (53%), health (46%), and affordability (45%).

But when asked what was stopping them from buying plant-based foods, 38% said they were too expensive, and 30% said they were not tasty enough. A quarter of respondents also said they wanted more information about these products.

Other findings include:

  • 46% of Europeans said they trust plant-based products more than they did three years ago;
  • 60% of those who eat plant-based products regularly buy them at the supermarket; and,
  • 59% support measures to encourage farmers to make the switch to growing crops for the sector.

The survey was carried out by ProVeg in partnership with Innova Market Insights, the University of Copenhagen, and Ghent University, with funding from the EU’s Smart Protein Project.