Working paper

Not on my plate! Using mental accounting to promote meat substitutes

Henrik Andersson, and Benjamin Ouvrard


We implement an online survey on a sample of 1,088 French respondents to assess their willingness-to-pay (WTP) for meat substitutes and to test the effectiveness of informational treatments aimed at encouraging a switch to these substitutes. Using insights from the mental accounting theory, our treatments inform respondents about the carbon content of the different alternatives. We show that there is no significant difference in the WTP between the veggie and meat-like alternatives, both exceeding the WTP for cultured meat. Second, we detect weak and heterogeneous effects of our informational treatments. Third, our study emphasizes the need for careful consideration in study design, as certain results appeared to challenge the independence of irrelevant alternatives principle.


Externalities; Meat substitutes; Mental accounting; Willingness-to-pay;

JEL codes

  • C99: Other
  • Q18: Agricultural Policy • Food Policy
  • Q51: Valuation of Environmental Effects


Henrik Andersson, and Benjamin Ouvrard, Not on my plate! Using mental accounting to promote meat substitutes, TSE Working Paper, n. 24-1547, June 2024.

See also

Published in

TSE Working Paper, n. 24-1547, June 2024