UBC Undergraduate Research

Plant Based Diets : Sensory Attractiveness Increases Acceptability of Meat Substitutes Ding, Yuan Yuan (Elaina); Huang, Yijing; Ku, Hsin-Ping (Grace); Lim, Kelvin; Lin, Tong


To promote plant-based diets, research has been focusing on finding potential barriers faced by consumers when adopting meat substitute products. Some major barriers include texture, price, and appearance. We are interested in how the appearance of meat substitute influence people’s willingness to eat plant-based diet. Our hypothesis is meat substitutes with higher sensory attractiveness will increase participants’ willingness to follow plant-based diet, but the effect may be weaker for those who have high level of meat attachment. We use surveys to conduct the study. There are two conditions in our surveys, one contains a colorful and moisturized meat-free burger, the other one has a dry and not colorful burger. Participants’ meat attachment levels were also being tested at the end of the surveys. The results fully support our hypothesis: meat substitutes with higher sensory attractiveness increases people’s willingness to adopt plant-based diets, and a significant mediating effect exists for participants’ meat attachment levels. Our findings show that appearance of meat substitute has an impact. This suggests that UBC can improve the appearance of meat substitute products to increase students’ willingness to adopt plant-based diets in the future. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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