Meat substitutes are often twice as expensive as meat

Tofu sausage and soy burgers are kind to the environment, but are a burden on the wallet. The environmental organization WWF warns: The high prices scared off consumers and made it difficult to switch to vegetarian substitutes.

Various vegan and vegetarian meat substitutes are on a plate.

GAccording to an analysis by the environmental organization WWF, groceries in German supermarkets are for the most part significantly cheaper than vegetarian alternatives. Specifically, according to the WWF, retailers advertise discounted steaks or grilled pork sausages with an average kilo price of EUR 6.36 or discounted poultry meat for EUR 5.67 per kilo. Tofu sausage and soy burgers are even more than twice as expensive at 13.79 euros per kilo.

For the analysis, the WWF recorded 922 grilled meat offers in the advertising brochures of eight German supermarket chains between the end of April and the end of May. The result: On average, 85 percent of the discounted grilled meat was cheaper than vegetable alternatives. In addition, according to the WWF analysis, very few of the products advertised come from higher forms of husbandry. Only two percent of the discount products were organic, with many offers not showing the origin at all.

Meat has a competitive advantage

Antje Risius explains that meat is so often cheaper than substitute products with the competitive advantage of meat as an established product – the substitute products are still “newcomers”. In addition, they are often more expensive because of many processing steps, says Risius, who researches sustainable eating styles at the University of Göttingen and was not involved in the study.

Experts criticize that the price imbalance leads people to prefer meat to substitute products for reasons of cost. In addition, the mass production of meat has a significant impact on the environment.