Do Meat Alternative Products need to change the Way they market their Products

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Producing meat is costly to the environment. It is a known fact, for quite a while now, that we need to reduce the quantity of meat consumed by each individual, on earth. We have seen some changes happening, such as the introduction of meat alternatives in burger joints, supermarkets as well as 5-star restaurants, but a new Australian study seems to think that there is a marketing issue, when it comes to men. Here is a look at the results.

The Relation between Masculinity and Meat

In Australia, in 2020, a period that saw the population going into lockdowns for the first time, the meat industry did something unexpected: It grew its sales in supermarket by 46% over the preceding year. At a time where every power that be says that we need to lower our consumption of meat, that is certainly not a sign that we are heading in the right direction. This industry is worth $6.5US billion globally, and it certainly doesn’t want to leave its space, even though some players are already changing their production.

But the problem just might be solved, if the industry changed their marketing messages. In fact, the study found that men are afraid to look unmanly if they stop eating meat. They worry that their friends will laugh at them and question their masculinity. So, what if the industry started advertising meat alternatives in a different way? There is no doubt, that as of now, men associate the fact of eating meat as to being a “real man.” Therefore, if the goal is to reduce consumption around the world, the industry should take this in account, when preparing their new marketing strategy. Whether it advertised more through social media, email campaigns or new marketing strategies like the ones found at, it would be worth keeping in mind that the association between men and meat has to be modified, if they want their meat alternatives to gain market shares.

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Why do Men feel this Way about Meat?

The study that was made in Australia, interviewed men between the ages of 18 to 40. This information is an important factor, since younger generations should more easily embraced this will to change, as a means to help the environment. The question at the heart of the study was: “Would you be willing to integrate more plant-based foods and reduce your weekly meat consumption?” Overall, the response was negative.

The group in charge of the study came up with two psychological explanations regarding their negativity. The first one is that they felt they were losing a part of their freedom of choice, by having only vegan menus provided to them. This reaction is in line with psychological reactance, which explains that people react strongly when they feel their freedom is at risk. The second is that men need to manage how others see them (impression management theory). Therefore, they believe that they have to eat meat for their male friends and girlfriend as well, not to question their masculinity.


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