As plant-based protein options gain notoriety, NCBA is using both checkoff and policy resources to position beef as the top protein in the marketplace. These efforts are helping consumers accurately compare beef to vegetable proteins and correct misinformation about beef production.
As examples, the checkoff is paying for digital programming that directs people conducting Google searches for meat substitutes to the beef website, www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com. In addition, checkoff dollars are being used for paid advertising on social media platforms including Instacart, which is an online beef shopping app. These ads carry the headline, “Nicely done, beef. You prove that meat substitutes are just that. Substitutes.” Checkoff staff also are conducting media interviews and correcting misinformation.
The policy side of NCBA is working to ensure all protein sources, including today’s plant-based proteins and cell-cultured options of the future, are produced and marketed under the same standards as beef and other animal-based proteins. Checkoff funds are not being used to influence regulatory issues.
According to NCBA, research shows consumers consider beef one of the best sources of protein, with plant-based and lab-grown alternatives considered some of the worst. While there is interest in these substitutes among some consumers, studies show those who have tried them did so while continuing to eat beef.