Plant-Based Convenience Foods: Consumer Perceptions, Nutrient Profile and Satiety

Sheffield Business School and the Business, Technology, and Engineering College of Sheffield Hallam University recently hosted a PGR and ECR Conference on the theme ‘Does Impact Matter?‘ Congratulations to Megan Flint, who was joint winner of the conference prize for the best e-poster presentation!

Megan’s poster, ‘Plant-based convenience foods: Consumer perceptions, nutrient profile and satiety‘ sets out a clear case for investigating consumers’ perceptions, drivers and barriers with regard to plant-based convenience foods. Plant-based convenience foods sit at a complex junction: on the one hand, plant-based foods may offer a route to improved population health and environmental sustainability; on the other, there are potentially negative health consequences attached to the ultra-processing often underpinning plant-based convenience food safety and palatability.

Megan’s research explores consumers’ health valuation of plant-based convenience foods versus their actual nutritional profile and satiating potential. Doing so offers the potential to assess and improve consumer literacy of plant-based food products, whilst also potentially contributing to new product development and the design of more effective marketing strategies.

Research Questions:

  • What key drivers and barriers are associated with readiness and intent to engage with PB convenience foods in different consumer segments?
  • How does the nutritional profile of PB convenience foods compare with meat-based equivalents?
  • How do PB convenience compare to meat-based equivalents regarding satiating properties?

Research Objectives:

  • To measure current consumer understanding, engagement and health-related motivations to consume PB convenience foods through a cross- sectional survey.
  • To explore consumer experience of PB convenience foods through semi-structured interviews.
  • To analyse and evaluate the nutritional profile of PB convenience foods against suitable meat-based equivalents.
  • To investigate the satiating efficacy of PB convenience foods against a suitable meat-based comparator through an acute feeding study design.

The research design spans three studies: a quantitative cross-sectional design with consumers, complemented by semi-structured interviews;  a comparative analysis of the health value of plant-based convenience foods and meat-based equivalents; and a single-blinded randomised, two-way crossover study will analyse the outcome of plant-based and meat-based test meals on participant appetite and satiety.

Check out Megan’s full award-winning poster here: Megan Flint Poster Presentation 2022

Megan Flint is a Graduate Teaching Assistant and PhD student in the Department of Service Sector Management, Sheffield Business School, working with supervisors Jenny Paxman, Tony Lynn and Simon Bowles.

Leave a Comment

Filed under appetite, Diet and health, eating behaviour, plant-based foods, research, sustainability