With plant-based food on the rise, how can your brand stand out?

More people than ever are choosing to follow a plant-based lifestyle.

The UK is the largest consumer and purchaser of plant-based milk, meat, cheese and ready meals in Europe. In fact, 25% of evening meals in the UK are now vegan or vegetarian, and one in three people in the UK have reduced or completely stopped their meat consumption, according to The Vegan Society.

The demand for plant-based food isn’t slowing down either, it is estimated that the vegan food market will surpass $24.3 billion by 2026.

With an already heavily saturated market, and more vegan options popping up by the day – how can your brand break through and make an impact?

Focus on the environmental benefits:

According to research from Deloitte, environmental awareness has risen significantly in the past year with 85% of people now making more sustainable life choices. People are becoming more focused on all the ways they can help the planet – including their food choices. In the 2021 Food & Drink report Waitrose noted that 70% of people said the carbon footprint of their food was important to them.

Consumers won’t be fooled by brands who try to be a part of the vegan trend, without any promise on how they are helping the environment. Brands need to make sure they articulate clearly in their messaging what makes them a more sustainable option. With World Earth Day coming up on the 22nd of April, it’s the perfect opportunity for brands to reiterate this message.

A great example of this is vegan brand Quorn. They’re the first global meat-free brand to have the carbon footprint of their products accredited by a third party. By being certified by the Carbon Trust, this means Quorn’s products have had their footprint measured and the brand are committed to reducing this.

Attract the attention of the flexitarian:

According to a 2021 report by Euromonitor, 42% of global consumers identify as flexitarians. These are the people who are actively lowering their meat intake, but perhaps aren’t quite ready to give it up completely.

It’s important for brands to make sure they engage and appeal to these audiences, as this will lead to creating bigger customer bases.

Instead of pushing for ‘vegan perfection’ brands need to show more of an understanding around the fact people may struggle or not want to go fully meat-free.

One brand that did just that is market leader, THIS . In January 2022, in a bid to encourage more customers, they promised that anyone not feeling satisfied with the ‘meatiness’ of their plant-based products could claim a refund. It’s a great way to show meat-eaters they can still satisfy their cravings, just in a new way.

Make it an easy option for anyone:

One thing that tends to make people pause when swapping to a plant-based diet is the preconception it’s going to be more expensive.

However, this is no longer the case. Research from Oxford University has revealed that swapping to a vegan diet could reduce your food costs by up to one third. Highlighting the fact that being a vegan isn’t necessarily more expensive is a great way to resonate with some of the more sceptical and cost-conscious customers.

An example of this is global fast-food chain, Burger King. On their website they state how they offer ‘vegan, vegetarian and plant-based alternatives that do not compromise on flavour or price,’ making cost no issue when consumers might be considering veering away from the original.

To find out how we can help your brand cut through and reach plant-based consumers get in touch with us today.

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