A recent report shows that in Japan, more consumers are choosing good-for-me, good-for-earth foods. This is attributed to increased concerns for the environment, animal welfare, and for their own health. However, just only 20% of Japanese are choosing to eat meat substitutes, preferring to eat vegetables rather than meat-like alternatives.
The research shows that in Japan, currently 7% of consumers never eat meat and 32% only eat meat sometimes. Of these consumers, 9% have stopped eating meat in the last 12 months and 36% have made attempts to reduce meat intake. The main reason for this is health with 56% associating eating less meat with being healthier. Of the consumers who already eat a reduced meat diet, 46% are doing so due to concerns over animal welfare.
Of the consumers who still eat meat on a regular basis, 18% have made efforts to reduce meat intake. The main reason these consumers are looking to reduce meat is environmental concern. Growing awareness about the connection between animal agriculture and climate change has led to many consumers becoming flexitarian (32%).
The research showed that only 20% of consumers in Japan currently eat meat alternatives. There are a number of reasons why consumers in Japan are avoiding these. For example, 40% felt that meat alternatives do not make them feel full, 35% said there is a lack of flavour and variety, 33% prefer to eat vegetables over meat replacements. Of the 20% who do eat meat alternatives, over half believe it is important that it is naturally formulated. When it comes to flavors, mushroom (72%) and tofu (51%) are the top two preferred flavours with only 26% liking meat-like flavours.