Veganuary has become bigger and bigger over the last few years and the international event has hundreds of thousands of people joining in. Consumers are doing their own research and making buying decisions based on this. With vegan food, sometimes it is on taste grounds for others it is based on their principles. Whatever the reason for someone to try vegan food for a month, or longer, this poses a series of questions for the food and drink industry
- Is my product going to appeal to as wide a market as possible?
- Do I have vegetarian or vegan credentials?
- Can I produce vegetarian or vegan alternatives to what I sell?
The UK has now overtaken Germany as the nation with more vegan food launches than anywhere else on the planet. There are many new products being launched as meat free, vegetarian or vegan than ever before. Another trend, known as flexitarian, has been on the rise, where people don’t necessarily feel they need meat with every meal. Meat-free Monday is another trend that has risen recently.
The UK’s food and drink manufacturers need to think about the products they launch, and the changing tastes of the market they are trying to feed. Although this might sound like a challenge, there are some sound business reasons to do this. Let’s take a look at these here –
Moving with The Market
The days of launching a product via a supermarket and waiting for the cash to roll in are long over. The market wants healthy options at great process and also wants the convenience of being able to order online. Working with the requirements of the market means that your business is agile and ready to help people. If you aren’t aware of the movements such as Veganuary and Meat-Free Monday as examples, then you are behind the times. It’s true that not every product will work for every campaign (alcoholic drinks and Dry January are not natural bedfellows) but you can get involved in many of these movements if you use a little imagination.
The consumers are out there already telling you what they want. If the likes of McDonalds can change their profile with Millennials to somewhere to hang out and grab a coffee, then there is hope for just about every brand. Go out and research the options. Look for the campaigns and see what you can do with them. It will add a freshness and impetus to your business at crucial times of the year. Also, make sure your marketing reflects this.
Diversifying Your Core Customers
Every brand has a core of customers that they rely on to come back time and time again. What if you could expand this core? What if you could find more people who love what you do? Looking into Veganuary, for instance, might find you a set of new fans from this community. The links you make here at the start of the year could fuel the growth in your business for the rest of 2019 and beyond.
If you have a diverse range of markets to aim for, then your food and drink business becomes stronger and less likely to see a big drop in sales from a single event or trend. If you have the vegan and/ore vegetarian market in addition to your traditional market, then you future proof your business. If eating meat goes out of style, for example, then you already have your foot firmly in the market that will replace it.
People are looking after themselves more than ever before. With obesity on the rise, the public are turning to the internet to look for solutions. Veganism and vegetarianism are two of the answers that appear. And this is linked to many other trends relating to food and drink, such as –
- Lower fat
- Reduced salt
- Lower sugar
- Carb free
- Protein rich
And the list goes on. The alternatives for people are always multiplying. If you don’t have viable solutions for your customers, then you can be sure that someone else will. Looking at healthier varieties or making your core product healthier can transform the way others see your brand.
If you are making changes in your food and drink business like those mentioned above, then you may well have an R&D tax claim already in your business, waiting to be uncovered. We help food and drink businesses to claim back the money the government has put aside for changes and improvements like the above. Drop us a line to see if you have tens of thousands of pounds waiting for you in only a few weeks time.