In New Nutrition Business this month

Convenient vegetables are one of the most important drivers of the plant-based trend. Creative NPD is enabling companies to earn price premiums of 100%-300%, generate sales growth and appeal to people’s desire to eat more vegetables.

Some companies – even those that have never been in the vegetable business – are reinventing vegetables as convenient, healthy, good-tasting meals, mini-meals, side dishes and snacks, accelerating sales and fuelling demand.

Love Beets, for example, takes a difficult-to-prepare and messy vegetable and presents it as a snack-size, ready-to-eat choice – and as a result earns a premium price and growing retail sales.

Caulipower is one of many companies helping to power the rise of the humble cauliflower as a gluten-free, “healthy carb” alternative to starch. And cauliflower’s growth is no fad and no accident – a growing body of consumer and media online discussion, fuelled by a growing body of science and the cauliflower’s connection to key consumer trends are among the many factors that signal that this vegetable is here to stay.

Technology is also playing a role in making healthier food more available. A start-up that provides salads and other fresh and healthy fare in refrigerated vending machines throughout Chicago has grown to nearly $10 million (€8.9 million) in annual revenues in just four years and attracted the first-ever investment by Groupe Danone’s new ventures fund, part of a total $10 million capital infusion.

Investment by major companies into start-ups has become one of the defining strategies of this decade. General Mills has been at the forefront of this trend. It’s latest investment is one that would have been an unimaginable step ten years ago, backing a start-up called Purely Elizabeth whose granola made from ancient grains has become a $12 million (€10.8 million) business.

Lastly, although growth in the US yoghurt market has stalled, other players and supermarket data from IRI pin the cause on the Yoplait’s brand’s crisis, with its sales falling 18%. Behind the headlines of a stalled market, Danone and Chobani are still growing and a host of niche brands are showing the powerful opportunities that lie in the niches which Yoplait long-neglected, with some brands enjoying growth of over 70% in the past year and steaming past the magic $100 million in retail sales. Does the launch of Yoplait’s Oui brand signal that Yoplait’s top management has at last embraced the reality of a changed market?

 

Posted in Editorial, Mainsite

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