As the alternative-protein industry grows, it’s supported by an increasing number of conferences and events that bring together experts from the industry.
These events are vital for networking, showcasing, partnership-forming, and learning opportunities for businesses across the value chain.
In its latest New Food Hub article, ProVeg International gives the low-down on its recent New Food Forum (NFF), hosted in Prague and curated by ProVeg Czechia, sharing the event’s top three learnings.
Choosing plant-based foods must become the easy option
One of the most important learnings of the event – and a recurring theme throughout all speaker’s talks – was the need to make it as easy as possible for consumers to choose healthy and sustainable plant-based foods and beverages.
Today’s average consumers are time-poor and hit by rising living costs; they don’t want to spend hours in shops looking for products that are expensive and bad-tasting.
Therefore, as Tesco’s Product Director, Chris Gee stated in his New Food Forum presentation, “We need to make healthy, sustainable choices easy — simple to understand — and on the wallets. It can’t cost a lot. So that’s the biggest thing we think about with our Planetary Commitments at Tesco. How do we make it easy?”
Essentially, through interventions that tackle affordability and taste.
In his talk, Gee uncovered Tesco’s Clubcard strategy. “How did we grow our plant-based products by 300%? One of the ways was through using the ‘power of the Clubcard’ to lower prices and direct customers to certain parts of the shop.”
Price was also a key point in Andreas Schneider’s talk, Head of Retail at Mondarella. Schneider said: “A low price point is very important because you can have good products on the shelf, but if they cost a lot of money, people won’t try it. So, at Mondarella, we take care of this in our pricing strategy, which allows flexitarians to try out our products.”
Taste is also key. Sebastian Tolwinski, Corporate Affairs and Communications Director at Upfield, discussed the taste evolution of plant-based products: “Yes, we [the industry] had a problem with the taste of plant-based products some years ago, but we are improving constantly,” he said, “and I believe taste is almost there. Just try Upfield’s spreads and try to see the difference compared to dairy butter. Before I didn’t like the taste of margarines, but ours are a revolution because of the taste!”
Mondarella has experienced similar taste successes. “We held a blind taste test with almost 80 participants,” said Schneider in his presentation. “Participants tried our plant-based ‘mozzarella’ compared to conventional mozzarella cheese and other plant-based options. Ours scored much better than the animal-based cheese in blind-tasting and many people didn’t recognise any difference!”
- Brands/retailers should keep plant-based product pricing low.
- Retailers (and brands) can introduce loyalty cards or schemes that lower the prices of plant-based products to make those options more attractive to money-conscious consumers, and even direct consumers towards these products.
- Plant-based products should be tasty – make them the obvious choice for time-poor consumers to grab when they are shopping!
Read the full article and visit ProVeg International’s New Food Hub. For more support on your alt-protein product strategy, get in touch with ProVeg at [email protected].