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The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that “makers of meat substitutes, such as vegetarian turkey and fake sausages, are working to more closely mimic the taste and texture of the real thing. They're also tinkering with mouth feel, the sensation a food creates when chewed. Their goal is to win over more of the group marketers call ‘flexitarians’ - health-conscious adults, mostly in their 20s and 30s, who share many characteristics of vegetarians, with one big exception: They eat meat sometimes.”

Vegetarians, the story says, make up just five percent of the US population, “but include ‘semi-vegetarians,’ people who consume meat with fewer than half of meals, and the number represents a sizable one in eight U.S. adults.” So we’re talking about a lot of people.

The story goes on notes that “meat free” products in the US grew 21 percent over the past two years, and that the general image of meatless products is improving, from “prison-issued protein loaf or elastic chicken” to something more palatable and tasty, as well as something that may be safer and more environmentally friendly.
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