New publication: "Which meat (substitute) to buy? Is Front of Package Information reliable to identify the healthier and more natural choice?". Petersen, Thies; Hartmann, Monika; Hirsch, Stefan. Food Quality and Preference 2021
Abstract: Environmental, ethical and health concerns have damaged the image of meat products for some consumer groups. As a result, the relevance of meat substitutes (MS) and the labelling of credence attributes has increased. However, it is unclear whether MS do indeed make the grade regarding nutritional quality when compared to meat and whether the Front-of-package (FOP) labelling provides reliable information for consumers. Therefore, in this article, we analyse the nutritional quality of different meat products and assess whether the FOP information is a reliable indication of nutritional quality and naturalness. Based on Mintel’s Global New Product Database, we analysed a sample of 5,482 innovations from the German meat market, covering a time-span of 9 years (2010-2018). We find an increasing number of MS entering the meat market, with a high-point in 2015. Further, we use Ofcom’s A-score to show that MS contain fewer ‘nutrients to limit’ than red meat (RM) and poultry meat (PM) innovations. In addition, PM and MS contain fewer food additives than RM. Finally, the FOP information is not always consistently related to superior nutritional quality and fewer food additives.