Grilled marbled meat steak Filet Mignon with seasonings. Juicy beef steak on cutting board, top view.

According to new research from Cargill, consumers say that including animal protein in their diets can be healthy, but it can also be sustainable for the planet.


This research shows that not only do people see animal protein as a rich source of a key macronutrient, but they’re willing to incorporate animal-based foods to reach their nutritional goals.

  • 93% of respondents say that meat, fish, and eggs can be part of a healthy diet
  • More than 66% of consumers intend to maintain or increase their animal-based protein consumption in the next year

Chuck Warta, Cargill’s President of Premix & Nutrition, says “We’re pleased consumers see animal protein as an important part of a healthy diet…Dietary guidance consistently emphasizes the benefits of adequate protein intake from a variety of sources.”

However, most folks aren’t ruling out the possibility of incorporating other sources of protein.

  • 80% of consumers are interested in plant-based and other alternative proteins

Cargill’s findings about non-animal-based proteins align with the conclusions of other recent research. For example, this survey showed that roughly a third of consumers would consider implementing plant-based foods into their diets to help them reach their health goals. Further, a piqued interest in plant-based fare helps to explain the sector’s current sales boom


Sustainability, particularly when it comes to our food supply, is a growing concern for consumers across the globe.

  • 93% of respondents from the U.S., Brazil, the Netherlands, and Vietnam say they care about feeding the world sustainably
  • 84% of respondents saying that sustainability impacts what ends up in their grocery cart.

People also firmly believe that animal-based proteins can fulfill their dietary needs while also being environmentally sustainable.

  • 80% of respondents say that animal-based proteins can be part of an environmentally responsible diet

Finally, when surveyors asked who bears the most responsibility for ensuring food production is sustainable, it’s clear that we all share the burden.  

  • Almost 33% of respondents chose “food and feed manufacturers” as their first choice
  • 25% chose governments
  • 20% chose consumers via the foods we eat
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