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One of the growing food trends over the past decade is the plant-based diet. As a result, food manufacturers have been looking to expand their business into this new market. However, developing competitive plant-based products can be a challenge when there’s several factors to consider such as customer demands, price-level and your brand’s value proposition. 

In this blog, we look at how you can create successful plant-based products: 

  1. Price your products effectively
  2. Create a strong brand
  3. Convenience is key – plant-based products that are ready to eat

1. Price your products effectively

Keeping prices in line with the well-established meat industry has been an ongoing challenge for plant-based leaders. Although plant-based meat production requires less grains, water and energy than beef burger production (for example, traditional burger companies have to produce animal feed, manage and slaughter cows, and transport the livestock), it’s still pricier than beef.  

plant based productsThis is because according to Wall Street Journal, meatless alternatives are produced on a smaller scale, while animal agriculture subsidies help make sure animal products stay affordable to consumers.  

The answer to making your products more affordable isn’t necessarily to cut costs. Cutting costs may give you short-term gain, but it'll ultimately lead to long-term sustainability failures for your business, such as damaging product recalls that can tarnish your brand. 

Instead, focus on how you make your manufacturing plants and processing techniques more efficient. With the right solution, you can: 

  • Centralise your data into one location, making it easier to see a quick, snapshot view of your overall business 
  • Automate manual-heavy (and mundane) processes, helping you improve team productivity 
  • Gain access to predictive analytics so you can make more accurate predictions and demand planning  

plant based products

2. Create a strong brand 

The long-term success of your business doesn’t solely hinge on your products. Even if you can provide innovate plant-based products to market, there will always be other competitors trying to copy you.

Leading plant-based brands like Quorn Foods started with innovative products but became successful long-term because of its ability to build a strong brand. 

One way you can differentiate your brand from your competitors is by offering a seamless customer journey and experience. For example: 

  • Invest in social selling – with 86.7% of UK shoppers now shopping online, why not meet them where they currently are rather than them having to find you? You can also share relevant content on your social media channels, use targeted ads, etc... 
  • Personalised product recommendations – use your existing customer data to tailor product and service recommendations. This is a great way to not only up and cross-sell, but also delight customers with your intuitiveness 
  • Give returning customers the VIP treatment – everyone likes to feel special, and if your brand can do this to a customer, they’ll be more likely to remember you. For example, with the use of AI you could greet returning customers by their first name or offer them exclusive deals based on their order history 

plant based products

  • Provide omnichannel customer support – today’s customers want to script their own journeys across multiple channels and pick up where they left off, regardless of the device or channel. For example, some may want to reach out to your customer-facing teams via social media, while others may prefer speaking to one of your representatives via phone. So, provide a variety of options and let your customers decide their channel of choice

3. Convenience is key – plant-based products that are ready to eat 

With the food to go market expected to reach £25bn by 2025, it’s clear that consumers are willing to pay for convenience from their food despite the global economic struggles. This brings new issues to the table such as food safety and how to prepare plant-based products in your production line. 

You can tackle plant-based food safety challenges by: 

  • Reassessing your food labels – food-specific solutions can help you sustain regulatory compliance by gathering and dealing with information from several sources throughout your organisation. This helps you gain full control and visibility of your operations, as well as minimise the risk of product recalls due to incorrect or missing information from labelling 

plan based products

  • Automating your processes – machinery that’s IoT (Internet of Things) enabled can automate long, manual or complicated processes. Artificial intelligence (AI) can also monitor equipment performance, check product quality and sort raw materials. This not only helps reduce the chances of human error, but also frees up your employees to focus on proactive planning and continuous improvement, which can lead to long-term savings 

Helping plant-based food manufacturers prepare for the future 

The importance of caring for our health and the planet has never been higher on the global agenda. With this in mind, plant-based products have a real opportunity to grow.

In our infographic, we take a closer look into plant-based food manufacturing, from the latest trends to the role of technology and what the future may look like for plant-based food manufacturers. 

Download your copy by clicking on the button below. 

Download the infographic


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