Replacement of meat with non-meat protein sources : A review of the drivers and inhibitors in developed countries

Eckl, Marion R.; Biesbroek, Sander; ’t Veer, Pieter Van; Geleijnse, Johanna M.


The overconsumption of meat has been charged with contributing to poor health and environmental degradation. Replacing meat with non-meat protein sources is one strategy advocated to reduce meat intake. This narrative review aims to identify the drivers and inhibitors underlying replacing meat with non-meat protein sources in omnivores and flexitarians in developed countries. A systematic search was conducted in Scopus and Web of Science until April 2021. In total, twentythree studies were included in this review examining personal, socio-cultural, and external factors. Factors including female gender, information on health and the environment, and lower price may act as drivers to replacing meat with non-meat protein sources. Factors including male gender, meat attachment, food neophobia, and lower situational appropriateness of consuming non-meat protein sources may act as inhibitors. Research is needed to establish the relevance of socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, religion, health status, food environment, and cooking skills. Future studies should prioritize standardizing the definitions of meat and non-meat protein replacements and examining factors across different consumer segments and types of non-meat protein sources. Thereby, the factors determining the replacement of meat with non-meat protein sources can be better elucidated, thus, facilitating the transition to a healthier and more sustainable diet.