The role of social media in driving beliefs, attitudes, and intentions of meat reduction towards plant-based meat behavioral intentions

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The environmental challenges associated with meat production and consumption have driven the rise of new plant-based (PB) meats. However, PB meat consumption among Europeans remains low. One of the main barriers to the consumption of PB foods is the consumers' need for information. Social media (SM) can help rapidly disseminate a wide range of information. Yet, misinformation in these channels raises concerns about consumers’ trust. Therefore, this study examined whether involvement in SM mediates the relationship between beliefs, attitudes and intentions towards reducing meat consumption and PB meat behavioral intentions, particularly for omnivores and flexitarians. Data were collected from 10 European countries (n = 6869). Two SM-related factors, namely the likelihood of using SM to find information about PB foods and trust in information about PB foods from SM were designated as mediators. At least 30 % of the respondents were more likely to use and trust information on PB food from SM. The mediation analyses revealed significant partial mediation (p < 0.001) with respect to the direct effect between beliefs, attitudes and intentions towards meat reduction and the indirect effects of the mediators on PB meat behavioral intentions. This study builds upon how SM shape the behavioral intentions towards PB meat consumption and the meat reducing attitudes of Europeans. The results also provide evidence on how SM can promote European consumers' behavioral intentions for PB meat.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105059
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2024

ID: 375202832