‘Meat shaming’ could reduce meat sales

‘Meat shaming’ could reduce meat sales



Stick a picture of a chicken in a far too small cage or another gruesome image of animals in the bio-industry on a meat package and people will be less likely to buy it. This is shown by research into ‘meat shaming’ by TU Delft researcher Rick Schifferstein (director of the Food & Eating Design Lab at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering) and former TU Delft researcher Anne-Madeleine Kranzbühler (now Brand University of Applied Sciences). (continue reading below the photo)


The news about the research on meat shaming coincided with National Meatless Week, in which TU Delft participated. Here an announcement in the canteen of Civil Engineering and Geosciences. (Justyna Botor)


In a group of more than 500 respondents, the researchers experimented with the content of text and images on warning labels. These included labels with messages about environmental damage, animal suffering and one’s own health. These were intended to stimulate negative emotions, because, according to the researchers, these have a greater effect on behavioural change than positive emotions. Animal suffering in particular stirs feelings of shame, they discovered, which they believe can have an inhibiting effect on buying meat.


If the government were to consider introducing warning labels on meat packaging, this study could help in the decision-making process, Schifferstein said. “The condition, however, would need to be that every meat package has a sticker. Otherwise the effect will be missed.” (SB)


Editor in chief Saskia Bonger

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