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The Meatless Mindset: A Retail Revolution?

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Incumbent retailers have often struggled to connect with the vegan consumer, and as more plant-based products hit the shelves, relevance, differentiation, and price will play a role in attracting interest.

JOVAN BUAC: The number of people turning vegan is on the rise, particularly amongst the younger generation, with a quarter of British millennials saying the Covid-19 pandemic has made veganism more appealing. Animal cruelty and a more sustainable, healthier lifestyle are just some of the reasons why many choose to become vegan. The non-profit organisation Veganuary has been a driving force in boosting the appeal of trying a plant-based diet, specifically around its January campaign which last year saw over five million people participate.

As more people begin to explore veganism, there is a growing demand for product accessibility. Bloomberg Intelligence predicts that the global plant-based alternatives market could grow to $162 billion in the next decade; a whopping 451% increase in market value compared to 2020 figures. It isn’t just fully-fledged vegans looking for an alternative to animal produce either; 92% of plant-based meals in the UK are consumed by an estimated 22 million flexitarians.

With Veganuary becoming more popular among consumers, launching new and innovative products with special offers and clear messaging is a sound strategy for grocery retailers. Currently, however, it’s the plant-based start-ups that are leading the charge – and the big players could learn a thing or two… By keeping a close eye on trending behaviours and shifting habits of the population, the brand was able to create a brilliant business opportunity and attract a rake of new customers…

Incumbent retailers have often struggled to connect with the vegan consumer, and as more plant-based products hit the shelves, relevance, differentiation, and price will play a role in attracting interest. Buying up leading vegan brands to build market share or secure market growth is no longer a guaranteed winning strategy. It just risks the start-up losing what made it unique and appealing to the customer in the first place and engagement will likely wane. Instead, brands should embrace their position and generate new ideas and creative options which are aligned with their own brand purpose and identity. SOURCE…

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