Flexitarianism and Social Marketing

Dagevos, H.; Reinders, M.J.


Society increasingly expresses concerns about the meat-centred food system, there is an increasing choice of plant-based meat substitutes and a growing amount of food consumers abstain from eating meat for several days per week (i.e., flexitarianism). However, consumers differ in their engagement regarding meat consumption moderation, leading to different transition routes of reducing meat consumption. Social marketing strategies are relevant when it comes to this transition and can be divided along a spectrum from light (“education”) to heavy (“law”). In the middle of this spectrum, nudging may be typified as aiming to unconsciously change behaviour by intervening in the context of consumption. This chapter presents two field experiments showing how these unconscious behavioural interventions could offer opportunities to effectively reduce meat consumption. Despite the promising contributions of these nudging interventions, a sustainable transition towards less meat consumption also requires changes in both prevalent consumers' mind-set and consumer culture.