Cauldron is truly a heritage brand in the UK, producing meat-free products for around four decades, beginning with a focus on tofu and its much-loved Lincolnshire and Cumberland sausages, then recently moving into the snacking category and more recently into the plant-based dairy market with the addition of dairy-free Greek Style Cubes.
“Now more than ever, we all need to think about how we can help the planet through its current climate crisis”
We were pleased to speak with Tom Lindley, Head of Cauldron, about what sets them apart from the competition and stay ahead of the game for generations of vegans and vegetarians.
Could you tell us about Cauldron’s roots as a plant-based producer?
Cauldron is the UK’s No.1 plant-based brand in chilled meat-free1 and has more than 40 years’ heritage as one of the founders of the meat-free market as we know it today. During those 40 years, the team at Cauldron has consistently developed and adapted to deliver a range that inspires shoppers into delicious plant-based eating, that’s better for their health and the planet.
Utilising extensive category knowledge, expertise and experience, along with a passion for food and the environment, we consistently innovate to drive the category forward with great-tasting products that are healthy and sustainable.
2021 has been a busy year for the company so far, what have been the biggest developments?
We kicked off 2021 by announcing a £3million annual investment to cover a full marketing programme throughout the year, spearheaded by sponsorship of the most successful Veganuary to date.
The Cauldron brand purpose has always been about sharing ideas and inspiration for consumers to eat better for themselves and the planet, so working with a charity like Veganuary, that shares the same brand values, was a natural fit for us.
We have also been focusing on innovative recipe development and have recently introduced three fantastic new products to market: Cauldron Greek-Style Cubes, Pressed Tofu with Italian Herbs & Tomato and Tandoori Bites. Cauldron Greek-Style Cubes were the first step into the dairy-free category for us and we have been really pleased with the shopper and retailer feedback.
All three of these products deliver on taste, health and sustainability. We know that there’s an increase in shoppers reducing their meat intake and these shoppers are looking for a range of exciting flavours and products that are easy to use from trusted brands like Cauldron.
“The Cauldron brand purpose has always been about sharing ideas and inspiration for consumers to eat better for themselves and the planet”
Now more than ever, we all need to think about how we can help the planet through its current climate crisis, and making small plant-based diet changes that are delicious, quick and easy is one of the simplest ways.
Could you tell us about your core product range?
With organic tofu that works wonders in a plethora of recipes, vegetarian sausages to make mouth-watering meat-free alternative meals and falafels with flavours inspired by street food markets around the world, Cauldron has the tastiest range of best-selling plant-based products, in the most shopped sectors of the meat-free market.
Cauldron’s Tofu range is a well-established shopper favourite and it’s where the roots of our brand began. Known for its ability to absorb flavours, Cauldron has a variety of tofu available in different flavours and formats. Original Organic Tofu, Organic Marinated and Organic Teriyaki Tofu, along with its latest addition of Pressed Organic Tofu with Italian Herbs and Tomato – the first of its kind in the tofu market.
Cauldron’s snacking range is perfect for people looking for tasty snacks that are better for them and the environment and can be eaten at home or on the go. Cauldron’s Moroccan and Middle Eastern Falafels have recently been joined by Tandoori Bites, each product bringing a delicious blend of herbs and spices that can be enjoyed straight from the packet or warmed up into a salad or wrap for lunch.
We are also really proud of our Cauldron Sausages and this is something that the recipe team is consistently developing. Available in two variants – Cumberland and Lincolnshire – and ideal for a number of occasions throughout the day. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, vegetarian sausages have never tasted so good!
What do you think are the biggest trends in the market currently and how does Cauldron react to them?
Taste is still the biggest purchase driver for most consumers, but sustainability remains high on the agenda. It’s no longer enough to have standard plant-based alternatives, they need to be just as tasty, if not tastier, than non-plant based options.
Everyone needs to do their bit to help the fight against climate change and big brands have a responsibility to make sure that they are doing what they can to take care of the environment.
All Cauldron’s products are made using organic ingredients and sustainably sourced soy beans. We know that we’re not perfect yet, but we are committed to the journey of consistently developing and doing better.
We are proud to be part of The UK Plastic Pact, pledging that all of our plastic packaging will be reusable, recycled or compostable by 2025. We have already reduced plastic in our falafel trays which are made from 100% recycled materials and recyclable, completing the full chain.
In what ways do you believe retailers can play a role in growing the market?
The meat-free category has been in double-digit growth since 2017*2 and there has been a sustained shopper interest, retailers can use innovative and exciting NPD to entice new and existing shoppers into the category, driving penetration and frequency.
With more Brits cutting down on meat consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic and taking to scratch cooking more often, as a result of having more time to spend in the kitchen, there is a huge opportunity for retailers to drive plant-based sales using tasty, trusted ingredients such as Cauldron Organic Tofu.
Retailers should be consistently reviewing their plant-based range, ensuring that they stock the best selling and tastiest products so shoppers continue coming back to the category. Stocking heritage brands, such as Cauldron, allows retailers to tap into increasing sales from all demographics, because growth in the category is driven by all ages.
*1: IRI 52 w/e 30.01.21
*2: IRI & Kantar Combined Market, Total Chilled & Frozen Meat Free, 52wks YoY, 20.06.20 & 14.06.20
*3: Kantar Panel Data, Total Meat Free (in-fixture) 52 we 14-Jun-2020