Consumers willing to pay more for beef and plant-based proteins

Apr 01, 2021
By Hayley Tanner

While plant-based proteins are all the rage right now, a study conducted by agricultural economists Glynn Tonsor and Ted Schroeder says we shouldn’t discount beef just yet.

Over 3,000 Americans were included in the study, Impact of New Plant-Based Protein Alternatives on U.S. Beef Demand. The study results indicate that consumers are passionate about protein regardless of whether it is beef or plant-based and are willing to pay a premium for it.

According to Tonsor, regular meat consumers reported being willing to pay $1.87 more per meal for a beef burger in a restaurant. They are also willing to pay 29 cents more per pound for lean ground beef at the grocery store.

Consumers who prefer plant-based proteins are equally passionate about their protein and are willing to pay up to $1.48 more per meal in a restaurant, according to the study.

These individuals are also willing to pay $2.32 more per pound at the grocery store.

“There’s a big preference among regular meat consumers today for the beef burger, and there’s a strong preference among the alternative diet folks for those newly offered items,” said Tonsor.

“The protein market is immensely competitive, both from existing and new products being introduced,” he said.

Nonetheless, consumers clearly have a preference when it comes to protein. The study results indicate beef is consumed three times as often as plant-based alternatives in the U.S.

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