Success Criteria

 
 


Which criteria do non-dairy milk drinks, vegetarian meats and cultured meats have to satisfy before they are accepted by consumers? What advantages must they offer us in order for them to be a success on the market?

Taste

Aim: Future Food – must taste better, or at least as good as meat, dairy products and eggs derived from animals.

To put it in a nut shell: What any form of vegetarian meat, cultured meat, egg replacement products or non-dairy milk drinks products, have to do is completely satisfy the taste preferences of the majority of the population. It is very probable that taste is the most important key to success, and at the same time, one of the biggest challenges.
Note: It should be pointed out that talking about "taste" also considers the texture of the product and how filling or satisfying it is to eat.

Price

Aim: Future Food – must be cheaper than conventional meat, milk or eggs which are derived from animals.

The wasting of resources inherent in producing animal products makes them in principle costly. Generous subsidies and reducing the quality of animal products through the implementation of intensive farming makes animal products “appear” cheaper. Therefore it stands to reason that it must be possible to produce animal-free products at less cost than products from killed animals. This is an essential criterion: Cheaper than conventional meat!
In the initial stages producing cultured meat is cost intensive. It would therefore make sense to start with an expensive delicatessen product such as “foie gras”: this would make it possible to achieve a competitive price. An in-vitro “foie gras” would be healthier and without the massive amount of associated animal cruelty involved in production.

Marketing / Target groups / Advertising

Aim: Future Food – must appeal to the majority!

Until now, animal-free foods have only been aimed at particular target groups. The existing products have been developed with health-conscious people or vegetarians in mind. However, it is essential that future products, which are superior to animal products, have the widest possible audience as target group, not just a small segment. Advertising and marketing going into future products should not, under any circumstances, be geared to the vegetarian market.

Health

Aim: Future Food – will be healthier than animal products.

Vegetarian meat, non-dairy products, egg replacement products as well as cultured meat need to be healthier for humans than animal products. Animal epidemics such as BSE and bird flu (avian influenza) as well as antibiotic resistance and salmonella should cease to be problems. It should be possible during production to make it easier to control the combination of amino acids or fatty acids or for example, to omit cholesterol. As far as health is concerned, it would be relatively easy to outperform animal products. Further information about the health disadvantages of animal products.

Shelf life / Hygiene

Existing animal-free products, such as soya milk drink, tofu or vegetarian sausages, always have a longer shelf life than their equivalent animal based products. Due to this fact there are many savings to be made in production, transport and sales, for example, by making cold chains unnecessary in many cases. Usually, spoilt animal products are by far a greater health risk than spoilt animal-free products. These are weighty advantages for the food industry and the end-user alike, which have yet to be fully recognised and realised.

Study on Consumer Acceptance (Dutch PROFETAS-project). Note: On this site, NPF (Novel Protein Food) is used for vegetarian meat.
Soyfoods - Sales and Trends (SANA, USA).
Merchandising Soyfoods (SANA, USA).
Vegetarian Consumer Trends Reports (Cultivate Research).
Upward Trend In Meat Substitute Sales (by Lily Naylor, 2012).