Study Shows Consumers Still Favor Beef as Protein Source

March 4, 2021

Consumers who prefer beef over plant-based protein alternatives said they are willing to pay nearly two dollars more per meal for a burger when dining at a restaurant, according to a study from Kansas State University. But, the same study notes, those who have turned to plant-based protein alternatives are equally passionate about their choice, saying they would be willing to pay $1.48 more per meal. reports that those are among the key findings released by K-State agricultural economists Glynn Tonsor and Ted Schroeder in the study, Impact of New Plant-Based Protein Alternatives on U.S. Beef Demand. The study was co-authored by Jayson Lusk, a Distinguished Professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University.

"Beef has what we call a good image and we document it as a good image throughout the report," Tonsor said. "We've looked at a litany of questions, such as how does beef compare to plant-based proteins on a lot of dimensions, such as taste, safety, price, nutritional content, protein, iron and even on whether it's good for farmers, the planet and consumers."

The nationwide study involved more than 3,000 consumers that represented the population of the country. Nearly 70 percent of respondents identified themselves as regular meat consumers (those who regularly consumer meat or food from animals), while the remainder identified with such alternative diets as vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian or other.

Tonsor said regular meat consumers reported being willing to pay $1.87 more per meal for a beef burger in a restaurant. They also would pay up to .29 more per pound for store-brand, 80% lean ground beef at the grocery store.

Those who prefer alternative diets would pay $1.48 more per meal in a restaurant, and up to $2.32 per pound more in the grocery store.

Source: USAgNet