Hubbub challenges men on meat. Will you join?

By : Eating Better
Mar 14, 2018

Eating Better alliance partner Hubbub is launching a series of targeted campaigns to support a mainstream audience to eat more plant-based protein. In this blog Hubbub, Creative Partner – Tessa Tricks explains why this campaign is so important.

We know that we cannot continue to consume meat and dairy products at the current rate with global meat consumption predicted to double by 2050, accruing health and environmental expenses of up to $1.6 trillion globally, according to the FAO.

This is why we are partnering with like-minded organisations to trial innovative collaborations to take urgent action on this pressing issue. Our first pilot, Meat your Match, with Nuffield gym, Nationwide, Baxter Story and the Wellcome Trust has just launched and will target those who hold protein in in most high esteem and have huge potential for change.

Meat your Match

The opportunity to highlight the naturally occurring protein in plants is clear. Hubbub’s Meat Your Match pilot challenges male colleagues from Nationwide head office to match their meat by replacing half of their animal-based protein with plant-based protein over a 2 month period.

Behaviour change techniques facilitate simple dietary swaps and compliment nutritional education in order to dispel the notion that animal protein is superior. Those stepping up to the challenge have received a Garmin fitness tracker and a personal consultation with a nutritional practitioner who has provided them each with a personalised, accessible, and most importantly, flavourful, meal plan to help them meet their fitness objectives and complete the challenge.

Participants will be connected through an online platform, joint workshops and cookery sessions to foster a sense of camaraderie, acceptability, and, healthy competition. We’ll also be introducing plant based sports nutrition products such as Tribe and Nuzest in an attempt to move away from whey. As with everything at Hubbub we will be monitoring results to determine what has a positive and tangible impact. 

Results will be shared this summer and will inform our further work.   

Why Men

A look at UK food trends would suggest that positive change for this pressing environmental agenda is afoot. Between 2012 and 2016, there was a 185% jump in the number of vegan products entering the UK market. Things have continued in the same vein in 2018. In January alone we saw Boots, Asda, Co-op, Costa, Greggs, M&S, Morrisons, Starbucks and Waitrose introduce plant-based lunch options in a clamour to keep up with rising interest.

Despite vegan mania in the headlines, not all Britons are sold on the power of plants. The national picture shows that dietary change is most prevalent among the under 25s and women with 60% of men compared to 25% of women exceeding current guidance on daily consumption of red and processed meat. A major shift in culture and behaviour is urgently required.

‘No one wants to be the guy in the pub who orders a veggie burger’.                                                (‘Protein Pressures’ Research participant)

Hubbub’s 2016 Protein Pressures research with the University of Southampton highlighted just how deeply meat is embedded in our cultural consciousness. In a representative sample of the UK population 76% of 1,000 respondents said that ‘people have always eaten meat as part of their diet and there is no reason to change this.’

This sentiment was particularly potent among men with 63% of men compared to 49% of women saying that meat provides nutrients that it is not possible to get from other foods.

A case of protein fever

These archaic notions of meat are exacerbated by a second trend, one that can be referred to as “protein fever”. Something of a legacy of the Atkins and Paleo diets, “protein fever” has bolstered a multibillion-pound protein supplement industry which offers costly protein fortified products from waters to Mars Bars.

According to Mintel three-quarters of consumers indicated they used high-protein foods/beverages in 2016 with a quarter of the population specifically using high protein sport’s nutrition bars. Worryingly, this trend also correlates to a rise in male eating disorders, with many young men looking to ‘bulk’ by increasing their muscle mass.

Despite the protein obsession, our research pointed to widespread misunderstandings around where the nutrient was found. Over 80% of the 1000 Britons sampled were able to identify meat and dairy as high sources of protein, whereas only 31% expressed an awareness that soya contains high levels of protein. The potential to educate on hidden protein is huge.

Take on the challenge

We need to move forward with the urgency that the issue requires. If you share our ambition to help the nation find the hidden protein in plants, get in touch



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