Plant-based meat alternatives: what is the word on the streets of South Africa?

Rebaone Masuelele , Nelson Kgothatso Phora

Partner: food-science

Year: 2022

Abstract: Globally consumers are actively encouraged to reduce the consumption of meat in favor of more plant-based meat alternatives for several reasons: plant-based lifestyles are nutritious, can aid in fighting chronic diseases and can play a vital role in saving the planet because the reduction in meat consumption will presumably aid in achieving a climate dividend. While the motivation to eat more plant-based meat alternative products is a priority, consumer perceptions of the quality, affordability, and experience of purchasing and consuming these alternatives are often unclear. Big data analytics was used to extract data from Twitter over the last 5 years to investigate the attitudes in South Africa around plant-based meat alternative options. Using sentiment analysis and customer segmentation data, we found that of the total individuals who posted tweets related to plant-based alternatives, only a minute percentage could potentially be said to practice a plant-based lifestyle. However, the data further suggests that there is an observable increase in the frequency and recency of tweets pertaining to plant-based lifestyles; most of which hold positive sentiments. These insights can help to develop products and marketing messages to address consumer concerns.

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