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  • Writer's picturePhoebe Fraser

APAC-SCA report reveals 42% of Japanese consumers willing to try cell-based meat

APAC Society for Cellular Agriculture (APAC-SCA) has released a report revealing that 42.2% of consumers in Japan are open to trying cell-based meat or seafood products, with the condition that it has been proven as safe to eat.

Headquartered in Singapore, APAC-SCA collective focused on establishing, implementing and developing strategic frameworks to spur innovation within the cell-ag space. Member companies in the Asia-Pacific coalition include #AlephFarms , #ShiokMeats and #CellX.

APAC-SCA's member companies and their locations.
©APAC-SCA's member companies and their locations

The report states that four in ten of the surveyed population – 43.7% – perceived the presence of Japanese government regulations as the most important attribute in determining the safety of these products.

For the industry, this signifies the importance of close collaboration with the Japanese authorities to build clear regulatory frameworks with a strong emphasis on the safety of cell-based meat and seafood.

The study, titled APAC-SCA Consumer Report: Prospect of Cultivated Meat in Japan, was commissioned by the society and the analysis was carried out by Akira Igata, project lecturer at The University of Tokyo’s Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology and the director of the Japan Association for Cellular Agriculture.

The survey, which was conducted in May last year, sampled 1,000 Japanese consumers. It’s aim is to better understand behavioural trends and perceptions of cell-based meat and seafood among consumers.

According to the report, 58% of the respondents did not recognise the term 'cell-based foods,’ with only 3% stating that they understood in detail the concept of cell-based meat and seafood.

While 37% of consumers reported that they were unsure what to expect from cell-based meat and seafood products, safety, health and price were highlighted as the top three drivers that could influence Japanese consumers’ intention to try the novel foods.

Japanese chef

Peter Yu, programme director of APAC-SCA, said it is natural for consumers to be cautious towards food products they do not recognise or are uncertain about its safety. He stated that multistakeholder collaboration towards a robust regulatory framework is essential to assure consumers of the safety of cultivated foods in Japan.

Yu said: “Considering that over 6 in 10 consumers are unaware if cultivated meat and seafood are safer than conventional products, there is a great opportunity and incentive for close collaboration between the government and industry to engage consumers in the food safety dialogue for cultivated meat and seafood.”

He continued: “This will increase consumer confidence and drive widespread acceptance in the long run. Ensuring that cultivated meat and seafood is available as a complementary food option in Japan is vitally important for food security without environmental and ethical concerns associated with conventional meat production.”

Akira Igata commented: “This survey reveals interesting characteristics about the next generation of Japanese consumers. More than half of men in their twenties have heard of "cell-based foods, nearly 30% are interested in trying them, and a whopping 62% answered that they would eat these products if they were cooked. Perhaps most importantly, one third of the respondents in their twenties did not select any options when being asked to choose from a list of potential concerns they may have about cell-based food.”

He concluded: “Understanding the proclivities of the next generation of Japanese consumers would be critical for companies interested in breaking into the Japanese market”.


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