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Plant Based World Expo offers key to increasing sales

Jonathan Morley, managing director of Plant Based World Expo, discusses the challenges and opportunities that plant-based foods present retailers in 2022

Rise of the Flexitarian

The plant-based food market has experienced extreme growth in the past five years, with sales of meat-free and plant-based dairy products roughly doubling. This growth has been accelerated by the pandemic, when improving health became priority number one for many people and reducing intake of animal products offered a simple way to achieve this. 

Headlines saw supermarket chains across the UK report spikes in sales of plant-based products and moves to expand ranges. 

Now that lockdowns are a thing of the past, many retailers are reporting a slow in sales of plant-based products. But this isn’t down to interest in plant-based waning. In fact, consumer desire to reduce reliance on animal products has never been higher. The difference is that there are now more opportunities for consumers to eat out of home. It’s no surprise then that supermarket baskets are smaller. 

Catering to this Market

Retailers must get their plant-based offerings right. If it’s half-hearted and consumers are unable to find the breadth and quality of plant-based products that they have come to expect on the shelf, they will start shopping elsewhere and may not return. 

Plant-based offerings need to be broad. Take a burger as an example, it’s no longer enough to just stock a meat free patty. Firstly, the meat-free patty needs to be the best. Secondly, retailers must also stock the full range of accompaniments, dairy free brioche buns, cheese, mayonnaise, and other sauces to ensure plant-based customers don’t feel as though they are compromising. 

The only way to do this is to keep a finger on the pulse to ensure the most exciting products on the market in a broad range of categories are on the shelf. 

The Next Generation of Plant-Based Foods

It can be a challenge for busy retail professionals to stay up-to-date with the latest plant-based developments in such a fast-paced industry but doing so is key to capturing the flexitarian market. To this end, Plant Based World Expo has been designed exclusively as the only 100% plant-based event for retail and foodservice professionals, distributors, investors, and manufacturers. 

It returns 30th November – 1st December at London Olympia, where retailers can discover innovative plant-based products and hear from industry leaders and pioneers about the future of plant-based eating all under one roof. There is also the chance to be amongst the first to sample mouth-watering plant-based food from ground-breaking international companies and the exciting new start-ups quickly making their mark on this fast-paced industry. 

Exhibitors will cover categories from meat and dairy alternatives, through to confectionary, snacks, and on the go products, all aimed at helping consumers reduce their impact on the environment and improve their health. 

A ticketed conference will also take place with three sessions of content specifically devised for retail buyers, covering sustainability, the politics of food, catering for the next generation, elevating plant-based offerings, meeting the needs of new audiences, and the delivery market. 

Conclusion 

Plant-based food is no longer bland, mushy vegetables squeezed into a breadcrumb coating and retailers need to fully understand this to ensure they are offering the best range for consumers. The flexitarian market is booming, and vegans and vegetarians are also important demographics to keep engaged. Without understanding this shift, sales will fall.

For further information and to register, visit http://www.plantbasedworldeurope.com/ or to exhibit, contact the show team on 01306 775 059.

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