Oh, what a surprise! NOS has discovered that meat substitutes have become less popular. Who would have thought? After years of hype and the promise that meat substitutes were the future, it now turns out that the market for these products is under pressure. Sales of meat substitutes are declining worldwide, and even in our own little country. And let's talk for a moment about Beyond Meat, once the star of the vegetarian world, whose shares have plummeted from a high of $234 to a paltry $13.
The NOS points out a number of reasons for this decline. According to market research firm Motivaction, the number of people who consider themselves vegetarians or flexitarians has declined. Last year, 40% of Dutch people chose not to eat meat or fish at least one day a week, now it is only 32%. Acceptance of meat substitutes has also declined, with people less open to such products.
Rabobank analysts suggest that the advance of brands and products may have been too fast, leaving consumers confused about which product they had previously purchased. Moreover, some meat substitutes just aren't of high enough quality.
X'ers: "Dirty and unhealthy!"
But let's look at what people are saying on X (formerly Twitter). Clearly, many ordinary people think that meat substitutes are less popular because they think the taste is terrible. Moreover, many are convinced that meat substitutes are NOT healthier than real meat at all.
Eelco van Hoeke, for example, writes very clearly, "Because they are unpalatable and everyone is done with this climate hysteria drivel. Can we just go back to normal like in the 1990s?"
Tanay Bilgin is also very clear. He has three arguments: "1 Meat cannot be replaced. 2 Meat substitutes are disgusting. Often a bag of candy is healthier than a meat substitute."
Rutger van den Noort feels the same way. "It's very simple: meat substitutes are often not really tasty and way too expensive," the opinion leader said. "Because of inflation, life is expensive, so people prefer to buy a nice piece of meat at a good price."
Auke Zijlstra (former MEP for the PVV) is also quite outspoken. "Glad to read that consumers are wiser than buying soybean paste with too much salt for 100 times the cost price," he says. "Then just eat nice vegetarian food.
In other words, although NOS tries to talk nicely into it and makes up quasi-intellectual reasons to explain the lack of popularity of meat substitutes, ordinary Dutch people are very clear. According to many people, meat substitutes are heartbreakingly dirty and expensive too. Oh yes, and there are more and more people who think they are re not healthy because, although they contain no meat, they are stuffed with other kinds of substances (such as salt, soy, etc.).
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So, dear NOS, maybe it's time to face reality and accept that not everyone is waiting for a veg ball or fake chicken piece. Real meat has its own charm, and it seems many people still appreciate it. Cheers to real steaks and burgers! 🥩🍔