Food consumption has a significant environmental impact which can be alleviated when consumer adoption of plant-based food innovations is increased. Attempts to increase adoption are often tailored to instrumental product attributes that consumers find important, but our studies show this is not necessarily a prerequisite. The current work aims to examine the role of symbolic product attributes in predicting consumers' adoption intention (Study 1) and whether symbolic product attributes can be leveraged to affect behavioural adoption of a plant-based food innovation (Study 2). Our online study (Study 1) shows that consumers indicate they find symbolic product attributes less important, relative to instrumental considerations like price. However, evaluations of symbolic attributes tied to consumers' self-identity significantly predict consumers' intention to adopt a plant-based food innovation. At least part of the underlying mechanism pertains to the intrinsic reward of acting sustainably: symbolic attributes predict adoption intention via the feel-good factor of consuming a plant-based food innovation, particularly for consumers with a strong intrinsic motivation to act environmentally-friendly. In a field experiment in a supermarket (Study 2), we found that mainly stressing symbolic attributes tied to social status promotes behavioural adoption, more so than when symbolic attributes tied to self-identity are stressed in a promotional campaign. Together, the studies suggest that leveraging intrinsically rewarding symbolic attributes of plant-based food innovations can be an alternative way to promote consumer adoption. All rights reserved, Elsevier.