Cigarette-style packaging to turn off meat eaters

Research has found changing the labels of meat would reduce consumption

Net Hero Podcast

If when you bought your meat there was a nasty cigarette-style warning on the packaging, would it put you off?

Scientists from Delft University of Technology seem to think so, revealing that changing the packaging would evoke shame and change people’s heavy consumption of meat.

Participants in a study had labels with upsetting images and messages shown to them on packets of chicken and beef and were asked whether they would be likely to buy them.

Stickers were put onto the meat with pictures of battery hens and burned forests. Attached were messages such as “animals suffer when you eat meat” and “the Amazon Rainforest is destroyed when you eat meat.”

Image: Delft University of Technology

Volunteers in the study said the packaging made them far less inclined to buy the items and would even put them off buying meat in the future.

To see whether the origin of the warning or statement made a difference, other participants were shown the same stickers but with logos from the UN or Greenpeace – but the provenance of the source did not change the label’s effectiveness.

Image: Delft University of Technology

Changing the labels of meat to have warnings would undoubtedly impact the consumption levels of meat, the researchers declared.

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