The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association released survey results that show widespread consumer confusion about plant-based fake meat products and the ingredients they contain. 

Less than half of the 1,800 respondents understood the labeling term “plant-based beef” was intended to describe an entirely vegetarian or vegan food product. 

One major source of confusion for one-third of consumers is the mistaken belief that plant-based meat products contained at least some real beef.

“The fact that so many consumers look at these labels and think that the products include meat or any other animal by-product is a clear sign that the misleading labeling and deceptive marketing practices surrounding plant-based fake meat has caused real consumer confusion,” says NCBA President Jennifer Houston. 

Among other mistaken beliefs is 44 percent of consumers thought plant-based products were lower in sodium. 

In reality, leading plant-based fake beef is between 220 to 620 percent higher in sodium than the same-sized serving of real beef. 

“We need to do a better job of educating consumers on the differences,” Houston says.