An Examination of the Motivations and Propensities Towards Plant-Based Diets and Meat Substitutes
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The main purpose of this senior project was to explore how people following different diets view plant-based diets and meat substitutes. This was done through the use of an online survey. Two series of questions based on the Likert scale were used to ascertain participants’ opinions of plant-based diets and meat substitutes compared to the appropriate meat-based counterparts on topics like environmental impact, health, morality, and cost. In addition, demographic information was collected to analyze for patterns among identity and diets. From the survey responses, the percentages of Vegetarians and Vegans were significantly higher than expected. That, combined with the fact that a large percentage of the participants were college-aged, suggests that the younger generation may be receptive to plant-based diets. Another key finding was that those who did not eat meat were more likely than their meat-eating counterparts to agree with the common arguments in favor of plant-based diets: that plant-based diets are healthier, better for the environment, and more ethical than meat-based diets. Furthermore, those who ate little to no meat were more likely to be interested in both trying and continuing to eat the Impossible Burger, a meat substitute, than those who eat meat regularly. This study and its findings are relevant in the marketing field, as a more in-depth understanding of the motivations and propensities that people have towards plantbased diets and meat substitutes is essential for catering to this potentially lucrative customer base.