Americans are far less likely to choose a gourmet holiday gift basket without meat or dairy if it is labeled “vegan” or “plant-based,” according to a nationally representative survey from the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics. By contrast, labeling the basket “healthy” or “sustainable” roughly doubled the likelihood that Americans would choose it.

The findings — published  in the Journal of Environmental Psychology and presented at the Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting — suggest that changing labels of vegan food to focus on health and environmental benefits, rather than their ingredients, may encourage people to eat meals without animal products.

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