A FIFTH of people have been tricked into eating plant-based food by their partner – and didn’t even realise.
The survey, of 2,000 adults in a relationship, found 35 per cent of those who had been fooled actually preferred the meat-free option over the real thing after eating it.
The favourite alternatives were pizza (21 per cent), meatballs (20 per cent) and sausage rolls (20 per cent), closely followed by burgers (19 per cent).
And 41 per cent said they’d also consider saying yes to eating more meat-free products in future.
Neville Tam, at The No Meat Company, which commissioned the research to launch its Ultimate Burger, said: “It’s fascinating to see how our preconceptions can affect our taste buds.
“Often, people can have strong opinions on foods without even having tried them first, so it does sometimes take a bit of trickery to get them on board.”
To put the meat trick to the test, Googlebox star Lisa Baggs challenged her husband Terry to a burger blind taste test with a selection of meat and plant-based options.
Meat lover Terry was unable to spot the meat-free alternatives from the line-up, saying he would consider eating them again in future.
The study also found 41 per cent of those polled had preconceptions of what meat-free alternatives were like before they tried them.
But a quarter were pleasantly surprised with how they tasted, while 43 per cent considered eating them to be a positive experience.
Of those who include meat in their diet, 37 per cent have ‘Meat Free Mondays’, with 56 per cent considering alternative products to be much closer to the ‘real thing’ now than they were a decade ago.
However, steak (19 per cent), bacon (19 per cent) and cheese (17 per cent) are the hardest things to get right, according to those polled.
Money and a love for meat and dairy are among the reasons why people have not yet become a fully-fledged vegan or vegetarian.
And 23 per cent think life’s too short to deprive themselves of something pleasurable.
Despite this, three in 10 reckon eating a plant-based diet is good for them while 20 per cent class it as being ‘trendy’.
The average adult knows five vegans or veggies and 34 per cent even claim they suspect at least one of them is doing it just because it’s considered cool.
It also emerged 38 per cent of those with children have tried to trick their kids into eating a meat or dairy alternative – with four in 10 claiming they didn’t notice.
The study, conducted via OnePoll, found 41 per cent have also been the ones to trick their other half – with 22 per cent proving successful.
However, 29 per cent got into an argument over the attempt to disguise what they were really eating.
Neville Tam added: “It’s been interesting looking through the research to see how many people have playfully fooled their other half, but it’s also really encouraging to see how many people would say yes to eating no meat in future after a positive experience.
“You will never know if you like something until you try it, so our advice would be to put preconceptions to one side and let your tastebuds do the talking.”