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Cactus Fields

Case study

Alternative Protein Adoption in South Africa

We partnered with Credence Institute (Stellenbosch, South Africa) to conduct a consumer survey. The aim was to assess the adoption potential of alternative proteins in South Africa.


  • The study included 1,087 participants ages 18-61 and was nationally representative in terms of age, gender, race, and income.

  • For both plant-based and cultivated meat, we segmented our analysis by early adopters (high likelihood of purchasing) and by generational categories.

What is the potential for adoption?

  • Plant-based meat: 67% were highly likely to try, 59% were highly likely to purchase, and 31% were highly likely to pay more.

  • Cultivated meat: 60% were highly likely to try, 53% were highly likely to purchase, and 30% were highly likely to pay more.

  • Younger generations were the most enthusiastic: born-frees and millennials were more likely to try and buy both plant-based and cultivated meat than Gen X.


Who will purchase alternative proteins?

  • Having prior familiarity with the technology was the best predictor of purchase intention

  • Consumers who were highly motivated by health, local food security, and environmental benefits were the most likely to purchase.

  • Generally, sociodemographic characteristics were not important predictors of who will purchase; early adopters were quite similar to the general population.

What is the potential market share?

  • When asked to imagine a future in which plant-based, cultivated, and conventional meat were all readily available, consumers estimated their yearly meat intake to be split fairly equally among the three meat types.

South Africa Pie Chart 35.35.30.png

Learn more

The article was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, and can be freely downloaded.

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