2/3 of Brits think meat-free burgers are the future

According to new research, the majority of British people expect that the traditional beef burger will be overtaken by meat-free alternatives in just 20 years’ time.

The survey undertaken by global intelligence platform Streetbees, found that 64% of British adults think that by 2038, meat-free alternatives such as the ‘Impossible burger’ will be more common than the traditional beef patty – with that number rising to 71% of under-25s.

Over 1,900 people were surveyed in several countries through the Streetbees app, across the UK, US, India, Nigeria, South Africa and the Philippines.

The study also found that one-third (33%) of Brits would start exclusively shopping for meat-free burgers if they matched the real thing. That represents a huge slice of the market, given that 83% of UK respondents said they eat beef: in 2015 alone, UK consumers spent £3.14bn on beef products.

Tugce Bulut, CEO of Streetbees, says, “The food and beverage industry is being disrupted by the possibilities created by technology and the attitudes of consumers, which are evolving at an unprecedented rate.

“Brands must pay close attention to the rise of innovations like the Impossible Burger, as they could turn existing markets and supply chains upside down and even make the traditional beef burger a thing of the past.”

The Impossible Burger, created by San Francisco-based Impossible Foods, is one of a number of new plant-based meat substitutes that claim to replicate existing meat products more closely than ever before.

The Streetbees survey found that most Brits would generally be keen on trying the Impossible Burger – but not as keen as people elsewhere in the world. Seven out of ten Brits say they would try an Impossible Burger if they saw one on a menu today – less than the global average of 84%.

In terms of taste, just 9% of beef-eating Brits actually think it would taste the same as a meat burger, although vegetarians (29%) are more optimistic than carnivores. Younger Brits are also more favourable to the taste possibilities, with one-quarter of Brits under 25 thinking it would taste the same.

Meat-free products have received substantial media attention recently, and Impossible Foods’ products are now on sale in over 1,000 locations across the US and Hong Kong. According to the company, creating an Impossible Burger uses just 1/20th the land, a quarter of the water and produces 1/8th the levels of greenhouse gas emissions, compared to the average beef burger.

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