Meat-free marketing debate rumbles on

Should a sausage be called a sausage if it contains no meat? It’s a question that is being hotly debated both in Europe and the US currently.

A survey of almost 1,000 consumers in the UK and US, published this month by Surveygoo and Ingredients Communications, showed that 25% of people supported moves to ban calling meat-free products after those that traditionally contain meat. If it’s a sausage, a burger or a steak, it needs to be meat, they said.

Support for the ban was strongest amongst vegans (33%). In fact, 57% of the vegans polled said they were less likely to buy a product if it carried a meaty name.

Both France and Germany have introduced rules that prohibit meat-free brands from using terms relating to animal products. This is on the basis that they confuse consumers. However, the European rules are far from clear – and that could be stifling growth, according to a report by Chatham House.

“The decisions that [EU policy makers] take now – on the regulation, labelling and marketing of meat analogues, for example – will have a significant influence on the industry’s direction and pace of growth,” the think-tank noted in a report published this month. “In taking early action to create a clear regulatory landscape, the EU could pioneer international standards for this new industry, thereby strengthening its position as a hub of innovation and contributing to a supportive global environment for European meat analogue companies wishing to export overseas.”

The survey findings are available here.

Footprint’s coverage of the Chatham House report is available here.

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