Stockholm (NordSIP) – In a recent blog post, Jo Raven, Engagement Manager at the FAIRR Initiative, argues that price parity with traditional meat products is key for the success of plant-based companies.
The FAIRR Initiative is a collaborative investor network that raises awareness of material ESG risks and opportunities in global animal protein supply chains. The Initiative conducts research and provides investor engagements with global food companies. Its proprietary Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index offers a comprehensive ESG assessment of the largest global animal protein companies.
Raven’s analysis of the state of plant-based meat alternatives draws insights from the experience of Burger King and its “Impossible Whopper” made with Impossible Burger’s meat-substitute. “Back in October 2019, Restaurants Brands International (RBI), owner of Burger King said that the Impossible Whopper had been key in achieving 5% comparable sales growth in the US in its third-quarter – its strongest since 2015.” However, she notes that recent “sales figures for the Impossible Whopper are beginning to dip, and so is its price.”
Tips for Plant-Based Success
According to Raven, “having a tasty product is perhaps the most important factor. Technology has played and will continue to play a crucial role in ensuring that the taste, texture, flavour, smell and nutritional profile of plant-based and alternative protein products are in the future at least on par with meat, if not better. Overall, consumer reviews on the Impossible Whopper.”
Her second insight is that “consumers want ‘clean’ and healthy products. (…) After winning over consumers on taste, companies need to be looking towards enhancing nutritional profiles to create healthier versions without compromising on the taste, texture, flavour or smell of these products.”
Lastly, price parity is critical. “The Impossible Whopper is more expensive than a regular burger, which may well explain why sales are beginning to dip,” she explains.
Ultimately, plant-based substitutes need to make economic sense. “Consumers need to want to eat plant-based because it tastes better, feels better and is cheaper than meat,” she concludes.