Purpose: Future foods such as plant-based meat alternatives (PBMA) are a means to achieving a more sustainable food system. However, there is a gap in what is known about PBMA from the consumer side, considering it is a relatively new food. Therefore, the paper aims to examine whether trust and perception could explain the intention to consume PBMA among Chinese adults. Design/methodology/approach: The paper elicited the level of trust and perceptions related to PBMA. Then logistic regressions and mediation analysis were estimated to determine the associations between consumption intentions towards PBMA and a range of trust and perception variables. Findings: The results indicate that most respondents trust food safety regulators and the labelling and composition standards. A comparison of the perception of meat and PBMA revealed that the majority of respondents perceive meat as tastier than PBMA while PBMA as being better for the environment. Regarding the effect of trust and perception on consumption intention, respondents that perceive PBMA as being better for the environment and having lower food safety risks are more likely to eat PBMA. Also, consumption intentions for PBMA are higher among respondents who trust safety regulators and independent promoters. Practical implications: The finding on both the intention to try and the potential for sustained consumption is a prerequisite to predicting future demand. These findings are also crucial to guiding market orientation. Originality/value: This paper focuses on drivers/barriers of consumer consumption intention – a shift from studies which examine product attributes and sensory or marketing determinants of consumption decisions.
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- Plant-based meat
- Changing food demand
- Novel food