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The Coming Plant-Based Storm

When it comes to plant-based meat alternatives, the jury is in: Taste is King, in fact it could even be King Kong… 

Our 6 speakers in our recent Seedlab Australia Masterclass were unanimous on that, also citing the importance of the consumer understanding usability, and being able to purchase at the right price.

In fact to listen to them, it seems there may be a ‘perfect storm’ coming, which may make the arena for plant-based meat alternatives, particularly those that can replace beef in the consumers cooking repertoire, more even than usual.

Carla Bonifacio from Kantar advised the sector is worth $185m in sales in Australia, with $31m of that in food service and the balance at retail, and is growing at 32%.

Mauro Pisani from Woolworths Supermarkets gave an excellent overview of the growth of the sector especially over the last 5 years. He cautioned our Seedlab participants to use the term ‘plant-based’ and not ‘vegan’ to maximise appeal, and to ensure the packaging used for these products was as sustainable as the products inside.

Benjamin Ewens explained what makes Impossible Foods taste like meat (plant-derived haem), and talked us through the marketing strategy for the brand.

Nick Hazell zoomed in live from the Netherlands to explain the v2food philosophy, which is about global change in our eating habits. Recent rising prices for beef have made it much easier for (fibre-rich) plant-based meat alternatives to compete. 

Penny Dean (Bloss) reminded us about other plant-based alternatives emerging in the sectors, and gave participants some great tips for formulating plant-based from the ground up.

Finally, Kirsty Down from Kerry showed some new options for how to make the perfect plant-based burger by incorporating chargrilled, meaty and savoury flavours with depth and complexity, a subtle aftertaste and ensuring the products are juicy and succulent.

Here’s what our guys got out of it:

Amanda Goss of HerbiDoor: “Having a Woolworths Group representative was so important and allowed us to know exactly what they are looking for in the alternative protein space. This will allow us to speed up the development and scaling of our product as well as invest in the marketing we need to be successful in Woolworths”.

Mimi K. from Mimi’s Laphet: “My A-Ha was how all the industry leaders are working alongside to transform the traditional plant based diet and that is the future I would like to be in”.

Jeannine Malcolm from Mobius Farms said it “re-inforced that nothing is “simple”. Even the most successful brands/products have been where we are. We shouldn’t lose sight of that”.

Thanks all speakers, and to Woolworths Group for making this possible!

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