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Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Horizon Study Examines Consumer Sentiment Around Obsession With Plant-based Alternative Meat Products

November 4, 2019 GMT

NEW YORK, Nov. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Horizon Media, the world’s largest independent media agency, today announced findings of its ongoing Finger On The pulse poll. This week the topic of the poll was what is driving the public’s fascination with plant-based alternative meat products. Of particular interest in the overall findings was that exploration and impact are what’s driving people’s interest in faux meat – that it’s much more than just a desire for social currency or a need based on dietary restrictions. People are genuinely curious and they want to make a positive contribution to reducing our carbon footprint.

Several of the largest fast food restaurants have begun trying out meatless additions to their menus, like Beyond Meat and the Impossible Burger. Horizon’s study asked people a number of questions around their perceptions and motivations in trying, or having already tried, a meatless item like this.

A desire for exploration is the biggest driver of interest with 40% of the people polled saying I’m curious what it tastes like. 21% wanted to try it because they heard it tastes good and 14% simply wanted to try something out of their comfort zone.

As expected, people are also looking to make an impact on their own health/diet and the world around them, with 26% of people saying they want to try it/have tried it because they believe it to be a healthier option. 16% want to cut down on their meat consumption, 16% want to add more plant-based food to their diet, and 11% want to cut down on their carbon footprint because they believe meatless items are better for the environment. However, many people may not realize that most faux meat products are highly processed and not always the healthiest choice on a menu

Horizon’s study found that some of the expected reasons one might think would be of interest are not actually driving them to try the meatless products. Trial due to dietary restrictions was not significant, with 4% of people citing being vegan or vegetarian as the main reasons, and just 2% stating their need to be gluten free. Nor was social currency important, with 3% declaring that they wanted to share about their experience on social media, and 2% admitting they did not want to be left out of the craze.

However, over one third of people polled (37%) said they are not going to be trying a meatless fast food option anytime soon. Not surprisingly, younger people are more open to trying at fast food, older people are more likely to be rejectors. Those 65+ are twice as likely to say they’d never try a meat-alternative at a fast food restaurant (27% of 65+ vs. 8% of 18-34 and 15% of 35-64). The polling also saw that women are more likely to say they want to try meat-alternatives to cut down on their carbon footprint (13% women vs. 9% men), and that women are 3 times more likely to say they want to try meat-alternatives because they are vegan or vegetarian (6% women vs. 2% men)

With an election looming, Horizon found that Democrats are more open to trying than republicans to say they want to try meat-free alternatives for health reasons (32% Democrat vs. 22% Republican, 22% Independent). More Democrats cite being vegan or vegetarian (7% Democrat vs. 2% Republican), and Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say they would never try a meat-free alternative (26% Republican vs. 17% Democrat)

When viewed by geography, Midwest meat and potatoes people are much less skeptical of the new products and the least likely to say they would never try a meat-alternative at a fast food restaurant (9% Midwest vs. 19% West, 18% Northeast, 17% South).

Lastly, when it comes to household income, the accessibility of meat-free options at a fast-food price point has opened up opportunity for those at lower income levels. Interest within the under 100k HHI level is more driven by curiosity (41% under 100k vs. 32% 100k+), and mid-income households are more likely than affluent ones to say they are interested for health reasons (32% 50-75k vs. 22% 100k+). That’s a lot to digest.

The study is part of Horizon Media’s weekly Finger On The Pulse poll that continuously tracks and polls how news and cultural events can shape or shift people’s thinking and behavior. Horizon also fields custom poll research for journalists and publishers across a variety of topics to make their stories and content more informed by the most recent and relevant consumer opinion data.

About Horizon Media Horizon Media, Inc. is the largest independent media agency in the world. The company was founded in 1989, is headquartered in New York, and has offices in Los Angeles and Toronto. With estimated billings of $8.7 billion and over 2,300 employees, Horizon is the second largest U.S. media agency according to COMvergence data.

Recognized as one of the world’s ten most innovative marketing and advertising companies by Fast Company, Horizon Media has been named Media Agency of the Year by MediaPost, Adweek and AdAge and is known for its highly personal approach to client service. Renowned for its culture, Horizon is also consistently named to all the prestigious annual Best Places to Work lists published by Fortune, Forbes, AdAge, Crain’s New York Business and Los Angeles Business Journal; including “Best Workplaces for Diversity,” “Best Workplaces for Women,” and “Best Workplaces for Millennials” honors.

Earning the industry’s highest honor, Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO and Founder of Horizon Media, was inducted into the American Advertising Federation (AAF) Hall of Fame in 2019.

For further information please contactHorizon Media Stephen Hall(212) 220-1744 shall@horizonmedia.com