Studies & Numbers

Danish Report Outlines Six Ways to Boost Sales of Organic Plant-Based Foods

A report by Dansk Vegetarisk Forening (the Vegetarian Society of Denmark) and Fonden for Okologisk Landbrug (The Foundation for Organic Agriculture) has analysed the potential of organic plant-based foods to be sold in grocery stores and food service outlets.

The report is based on the results of a four-month field study which included interviewing key stakeholders, observations in supermarkets, and participating in relevant events. Based on the research, the report’s authors have compiled several recommendations targeted at different levels of the supply chain. There are six key takeaways:

  1. Taste — External and impartial taste assessors should be used to ensure plant-based foods taste as good as possible, along with a diverse panel of taste judges such as consumers, chefs, and colleagues from other departments. Buyers and other staff should be offered training in sensory analysis, while plant-based dishes should be served in grocery and food service workplaces to familiarise staff with the flavours.
  2. Knowledge —- Grocery chains and wholesalers should have strong organisational knowledge of plant-based foods; this includes strengthening employee understanding and trust in the category. The foods should be integrated into educational programs in the industry, and companies should have a minimum target for interactions between their employees and plant-based food producers.

    Tempty Foods
    © Marlow Ingredients/Tempty Foods
  3. Community — Supermarket chains should collaborate with food producers to develop new products, while industry professionals should be allocated time to participate in external networking events related to organic plant-based foods.
  4. Store layouts — Grocery store layouts should nudge consumers towards plant-based products; this could include placing vegan foods next to their animal-based counterparts. Manufacturers should be aware of how a product will fit into the store’s range, where it will be placed, and what products it will compete with. Employees of the store should be given time to experiment with different layouts.
  5. Pricing — Stores should adopt a fixed low-price strategy for organic plant-based foods. These products should also be advertised and placed in sales promotions at the same frequency as animal products.
  6. Internal communication — Within retail chains, individual stores should have the freedom to experiment with a range of organic plant-based products. Organisations should have internal networks to share responsibilities for the plant-based category.
Vegetarian Society of Denmark group shot
Vegetarian Society of Denmark, image supplied

Denmark’s Green Transition

In October, Denmark became the first country worldwide to develop a national action plan to promote plant-based foods. The plan includes strategies such as upgrading personnel in public and private kitchens, along with promoting plant-based diets in primary schools and higher education.

Just last week, The Danish Foundation for Plant-Based Foods announced 36 projects that have been selected to receive support from its Plant Fund. The fund was established as part of the Danish government’s Agreement on the Green Transition of Danish Agriculture, which was signed in 2021.

“Our vision is a more sustainable, ethical, and healthy world, that is better for animals, people, and planet. Our mission is to inform and inspire people, particularly professionals, to pave the way for a structural change of our food system towards more plant-based foods,” Rune-Christoffer Dragsdahl, Secretary-General of the Vegetarian Society of Denmark, told vegconomist earlier this year.

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