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Poles can tell the difference between sausage and beans. A new study destroys the arguments of the meat industry

According to the representatives of the Polish meat industry, Poles are drones who cannot distinguish sausage from its vegetable substitute, so they postulate that plant substitutes should be banned by names that are equated with animal products. Meanwhile, a study has emerged that clearly shows that the Poles have no problem deciding what is ham and what is beans.

As a reminder, leading representatives of the Polish meat industry believe that naming plant alternatives with the same names as original meat products causes confusion and misleads consumers. Therefore, they are fighting to introduce the same ban across the EU as in France, so that the sausage remains a sausage and the plant-based equivalent finds its own name.

For example, the chairman of the pig producer organization Polpig. Aleksander Dargiewicz believes that:

The use of the traditional names of meat products “chop”, “sausage”, “kabanosy” or “ham” for plant products confuses consumers. The most important criterion to be followed in the labeling of foodstuffs placed on the market should be the prohibition of misleading the consumer.

Andrzej Kowalski, sales and marketing director at JBB Bałdyga, echoes him:

In our opinion, the readability and clarity of the nomenclature is a very important issue. So much more because many times plant or meat and vegetable products look almost the same as meat products. Therefore, in our opinion, the new rules introduced in France can be seen as an important step towards clarity of information for consumers and the protection of products and know-how in the meat market.

  • Read also: Vegetable sausages fell into a spiral of absurdity. The Polish meat industry is like a besieged fortress

In other words, the gentlemen are trying to say that the Poles are poor lost sheep (or just clouds) who cannot distinguish the sausage on the shelf from its vegetable substitute, so they need to be shown what is real meat and what is a vegetable adulteration. .

Of course, any reasonable person can see that this argument does not hold up, especially in supermarkets where each plant product is clearly labeled and located in a separate section of the store. Now, however, we have hard data that the Poles have no problem distinguishing between meat and plants.

Are the meat names on plant-based products misleading consumers?

This is the title of a study conducted in July 2022 using the Ariadna panel by RoślinnieJemy. The organization asked over 1,000 Polish women and men if they had ever bought a plant product by mistake instead of a real animal product. As you can easily guess, the vast majority of people did not have such a problem, and if so, rarely.

Neither women nor men have problems distinguishing between meat and non-meat. Neither highly educated nor people with basic education have a problem. Even pensioners have no problems distinguishing meat from vegetable substitutes – 81 per cent. pensioners have never bought a plant-based meat substitute by mistake.

In the scope of the entire study, only one group often has problems distinguishing meat from its alternative (3-5%), and that is young people aged 18-34, i.e. those who, according to other studies, most often RoślinnieJemy consume plant products.

The authors of the study point out that this may be because these people are probably already on a flexitarian diet and simply aren’t paying attention to labels. However, this is a small percentage that fades to 82%. respondents who had such problems very rarely or never.

The meat industry’s arguments do not make sense.

It is clearly visible that the alleged “confusion” of the Polish consumer arises only in the imagination of the supporters of the ban on calling veggie burgers. The same is the opinion of the authors of the petition, which must stop the ban before it comes into effect. As we read in the description of the petition:

Terms like “veg burger” and “veggie sausage” provide important information about the taste and uses that people can expect from the product. Consumers buy plant-based products precisely because they know that these products offer similar taste experiences and functions as their animal counterparts.

Personally, however, I have no doubt that the Polish meat industry will push through this ban, as was the case in France. The meat industry is the largest processing department of the food industry in Poland (although it is one of the least profitable, ironically), so do not be fooled that decision-makers will put its interests above the interests of the consumer.

Fortunately, the RoślinnieJemy study gives us hope that just as Poles have no problem distinguishing meat from non-meat, they will have no problem buying plant substitutes when they change their name.

Poles can tell the difference between sausage and beans. A new study destroys the arguments of the meat industry

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