In NNB this month: plant burgers and ginger shots

Can plant-based products do to meat what they have done to dairy? Can a pea protein-based burger deliver on consumers’ expectations of ‘natural’? These are the two big questions faced by the roll-out of the Beyond Burger in the chilled meat cabinets of America’s supermarkets.

Merchandising is at the heart of the strategy for Beyond Burger and it’s no accident that the company is taking the successful strategy of non-dairy plant milks as its model.

But consumers increasingly want their foods to be “as natural as possible”, with few ingredients, all easy to recognize – and Beyond Burger has 20. The risk is it could look like the opposite of simple and natural.

Japanese pharma group Otsuka is the latest big player to show its faith in plant-based non-dairy products, acquiring Daiya Foods (see Case Study in September 2016 New Nutrition Business). Daiya has grown rapidly by providing cheese, yoghurt and cheesecakes that are free-from dairy, gluten and most allergens. Pharma companies have been notably unsuccessful in food and health – Otsuka is the exception to this rule.

Coldpress, founded in 2011, is starting to make its mark enjoying double-digit growth even as UK consumers, as in so many other markets, increasingly shun fruit juices over concerns about their sugar content.

Maia yoghurt debuted ten years ago and – like most start-ups – the road has been long and full of challenges. However, patience is rewarded and Maia has found a niche for a product that is probiotic, high in protein and low in sugar.

Nourish shows the value of treating the early years of a new brand as a time to learn and adjust. In 2017 the company is rolling out a slimmed-down line of snacks with better recipes and a major packaging make-over and it is expanding distribution from an e-commerce subscription-only base into conventional retailing.

Ginger has a long traditional association with digestive wellness. Entrepreneur Zyad Moussa aims to build on that with Ginger Shot. A cold-pressed, HPP product that combines ginger extract and fruit juices in 2.5oz (74ml) bottles. The company is taking a slow-and-steady approach to building distribution.

Posted in Editorial, Mainsite

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