Apocalypse now… or sooner then expected at least

It’s not been a good week for environmental news. For a start, apparently we have circa 18 months to save the planet, as opposed to the couple of decades we thought we had just a few months ago. And then just a few hours later the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its latest report on Land and Climate Change, underlining the imperative for diets to include less meat and more plant proteins, if we have any chance of keeping global warming well below the 2 degrees of Armageddon.

It makes for sobering reading – particularly if you’re in the business of meat production or processing. However, amid the doom and gloom, it does present realistic ‘risk management’ solutions for the world’s food and farming industries – and consumers.

It’s true that change might not yet be fast enough but change there is (we’re trying to look on the bright side..ok?) For instance, research by the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) this year highlights that ‘loyal vegans’ are still niche – accounting for just 2% of British shoppers. But, and it’s a big BUT, 52% of Brits say they are already following or are interested in a plant-based diet – from veganism to vegetarian and flexitarian. This rises to 68% of 18-24-year-olds.

What’s more Mintel issued new research just last month that highlighted 33% of 16-24-year-olds use plant-based milk alternatives – and all of us are using more milk alternatives. In fact, 23% of Brits used plant-based milk alternatives in the three months to February 2019, compared to 19% the previous year.

These trends come back to the start of our blog – the drive to make a difference: Conscious consumption is here to stay. That means it’s not just about buying ‘stuff’ anymore – and the stuff we do buy must reflect our values, our passions and priorities.

So, what does all this mean for food and drink brands right now? Well, we were chatting with the head of a large, independent wholesaler just last week and he voiced his surprise that many of the vegan brands he deals with aren’t shouting about that fact more loudly on their packaging.

He said he thought it was a missed opportunity – for brands, for retailers and their shoppers. Of course, just being vegan, vegetarian or plastic-free isn’t, in the long run, enough to elevate a mediocre brand. But why, if your brand is following the zeitgeist, wouldn’t you want to make sure every-single potential customer knows about it?

If you’re brand owner or marketer, would you like to take a fresh look at your brand to see if it ‘speaks’ to the new generation of conscious consumers? Does it tick today’s wellness and ethical concerns – from ingredients to packaging? Brandality offers unbiased, knowledgeable advice – we can be great together get in touch!