A FIFTH of people have been tricked into eating plant-based foods by their partner – and didn’t even realize it.
The survey, of 2,000 adult couples, found that 35% of those who were duped actually preferred the meatless option to the real thing after eating it.
Favorite alternatives were pizza (21%), meatballs (20%) and sausage rolls (20%), followed closely by burgers (19%).
And 41% said they would also consider saying yes to eating more meatless products in the future.
Neville Tam, of The No Meat Company, who commissioned the research to launch his Ultimate Burger, said: “It’s fascinating how our preconceptions can affect our taste buds.
“Often people can have strong opinions about foods without even trying them first, so sometimes it takes a bit of trickery to get them accepted.”
To put the meat trick to the test, Googlebox star Lisa Baggs challenged her husband Terry to a blind taste test with a selection of meat and plant-based options.
Meat lover Terry was unable to spot the meatless alternatives in the range, saying he would consider eating them again in the future.
The study also found that 41% of respondents had preconceptions about meatless alternatives before trying them.
But a quarter were pleasantly surprised by their taste, while 43% considered eating them a positive experience.
Of those who include meat in their diet, 37% have ‘Meatless Mondays’, with 56% considering alternative products to be much closer to the ‘real thing’ today than they were a while ago ten years old.
However, steak (19%), bacon (19%) and cheese (17%) are the hardest things to get right, according to respondents.
Money and the love of meat and dairy are some of the reasons why people have not yet become full vegans or vegetarians.
And 23% believe that life is too short to deprive yourself of something pleasant.
Despite this, three in 10 believe a plant-based diet is good for them, while 20% classify it as ‘trendy’.
The average adult knows five vegans or vegetarians, and 34% even say they suspect at least one of them does it simply because it’s considered cool.
It also emerged that 38% of people with children tried to get them to eat an alternative to meat or dairy – four in ten saying they didn’t notice.
The study, conducted via OnePoll, found that 41% were also those who cheated on their other half – with 22% succeeding.
However, 29% argued about trying to disguise what they were really eating.
Neville Tam added: “It’s been interesting to sift through the research to see how many people have playfully cheated on their other half, but it’s also very encouraging to see how many people would say yes to not eating meat at all. future after a positive experience.
“You’ll never know if you like something until you try it, so our advice would be to set aside preconceptions and let your taste buds do the talking.”