It is found that more than three-quarters of consumers in Singapore are open to trying cultured seafood, based on a recent study conducted by Shiok Meats to understand Singaporean consumers’ attitudes towards cell-based meats. The results of the study have been published exclusively on Green Queen Media and Future Food Now.
We are very encouraged that the majority of survey respondents are interested to try cell-based seafood.Dr. Sandhya Sriram & Dr. Ka Yi Ling, Co-Founders, Shiok Meats
The online survey collected data from 850 respondents who made up the gender and ethnically representative sample of Singapore consumers. More than 78% – are willing to try cell-based seafood options after being shown a simple infographic of explaining the concept of the novel alternative protein. Of the entire cohort, of which 83% considered themselves as omnivores, 56% said that they already understood or have prior heard of cell-based seafood.
The top factors that participants cited as the reason why they would be willing to taste cultured seafood was sustainability, with 45% saying that the appeal comes from the lower environmental footprint compared to its traditional counterparts.
Other key drivers include curiosity about cell-based seafood (20%), as well as health and food safety concerns related to aquaculture (16.5%), such as the overuse of antibiotics and nutritional advantages of proteins that have been cultivated directly from cells. Ethical or animal welfare related reasons also contributed to interest in cell-based seafood, though to a lesser extent (15%) than sustainability and health.
Some other notable highlights from the study include:
– Vegans and vegetarians would eat cell-based seafood
One self-identified vegan said, “I’m a vegan due to ethical reasons and I simply cannot find any clean, unprocessed vegan seafood alternatives, I would definitely support and try cell-based seafood as I was previously a pescatarian and miss seafood very much.”
– Consumers willing to pay more for cell-based seafood free of antibiotics and toxins, and environmental reasons
Another respondent noted that due to their commitment to sustainability, they would be willing to pay “10-20% higher” prices over existing conventional seafood options and would “encourage family and friends to choose cell-based seafood” once made it is available in the market.
– The younger generations are likely to be the early adopters of cell-based seafood
The survey also examined the potential “early adopters” of cell-based seafood who would be willing to pay premiums and were very or extremely likely to regularly purchase the product. Among those identified are mainly younger respondents between 18-39 years old who were more likely to be ethnically Indian or Caucasian. Those who declared themselves as vegans were the most likely of all diet groups to become “early adopters”.
These mostly young, well-educated, environment-focused consumers will be crucial in the early phase of commercialisation, before cell-based startups are able to close the price gap with conventional products.Michal Klar, Founder, Future Food Now
Some obstacles to the adoption of cell-based seafood include the lack of familiarity or understanding about the product itself, around 40% of respondents, for instance, cited “unfamiliarity of novel foods” as the main reason why they would be deterred from trying cell-based seafood, while cost (10%), taste (7.7%) and freshness (6.5%) trailed behind as other concerns.
These insights suggest the important need for the alternative protein industry to promote public awareness and educate consumers about cell-based meats through transparent communication.
Read the exclusive study published on Green Queen!