Should Vegetarian Products Be Allowed Meat-Related Names?


Jennifer Shike, FarmJournal's Pork

March 13, 2019


One in four consumers believes vegetarian products should not be allowed to have meat-related names like sausage or burger, a survey has found.


Polling experts Surveygoo explored attitudes about the naming of meat-free products. Nearly 1,000 consumers were surveyed from the UK and the U.S., including vegetarians, vegans, pescatarians and meat-eaters.


Across all groups, 25% of respondents said manufacturers of vegetarian products should not be permitted to use meat-related names like sausage, burger or steak, according to a release by Ingredient Communications.


Vegetarians were the least likely to disapprove of meat-related names, with only 18% supporting a ban. By contrast, 33% of vegans and 26% of meat-eaters said vegetarian products should not be allowed to have meat-related names.


“It’s no secret that many in the meat industry want to stop what they see as the misrepresentation of vegetarian products,” says Richard Clarke, Managing Director of Ingredient Communications. “What is perhaps surprising is that so many consumers also seem to support a ban. With interest in plant-based diets increasing, and a backlash from the meat industry under way, it is time for a debate about the way vegetarian and vegan products are presented.”


There’s a significant divide between vegetarians and vegans when it came to purchasing decisions, according to the survey. Nearly half of the vegetarians surveyed (49%) said they were more likely to buy a meat-free product if it was labeled with a word such as sausage, burger or steak. However, only 19% of vegans said the same, with 57% saying they were less likely to buy a product if it carried a meat-related name.


“Vegetarians seem to prefer products that mimic traditional meat formats, but this is a turn-off for many vegans,” says Neil Cary, managing director of Surveygoo.


This is an important lesson...