By Peter Henderson
The Game Changers, the movie about plant-based diets, is launching globally Sept. 16. Will it add more noise about plant-based foods, or will it add value to the conversation about plant-based ingredients and products? It’s hard to say, but undoubtedly the movie will shine another spotlight on health and wellness, by adding some remarkable stories of athletic prowess. Who knew 14 or so members of the Tennessee Titans, are/were on plant-based diets? Who knew some of the strongest humans thrived on plant-based foods?
While the jury is out on timing and degree of any game-changing consumption shift, we do know every great business leader and marketer wants to be a significant part of, if not own the next game changer! In addition, smart business owners and marketers don’t want to have their businesses disrupted unless they are disrupting themselves.
With disruptive game-changers, businesses can either fight them, ignore them, wait and see, or join them.
What’s unique about the plant-forward trend, shift or perhaps movement is the majority of plant-based ingredients, manufacturers and agri-businesses are interested in collaborating and cooperating on solutions to meet consumer needs. Similar to craft brewers, there is far more co-operation to grow the pie than fighting for market share.
For business owners, sitting on the fence can be a dangerous approach as consumer shifts can wipe businesses off the map in a relative nanosecond.
If the plant-forward food trend is a game-changer, we suggest at least be a part of the conversation, so you can be valued as being a part of a solution to meet consumer demands, which can help build valuable relationships, and increase sales globally.
Angus Reid Institute published the report, “Meatless Millennials: Younger Canadians feeding growth of plant-based meat substitutes,” which reveals that “Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 are considerably more likely than their older peers to have tried these products (58 per cent have), to say they will if they haven’t already (48 per cent plan to), and to say that the movement is here to stay (70 per cent say this).”
Furthermore, it probes the Canadian publics’ sentiment toward impacts on Canada’s economy, and Canada’s valued farming sectors. “If this trend does indeed have staying power, will the growth in plant-based alternatives harm Canada’s meat industry?” There is a surprisingly high level of awareness of the benefit to Canada’s economy in relation to pulse production. “One-in-three (35 per cent) say Canada will benefit from the demand for more peas, lentils and beans — all key ingredients in vegan meat substitutes — while one-in-five (21 per cent) say the domestic economy will be harmed due to potentially lower demand for meat.”
If you would like to join the conversation, the 2019 Global Summit on Plant-Powered Menus will take place in Toronto from Nov.12-13. It’s an exclusive gathering of 300 foodservice leaders and their suppliers diving into the latest plant-inspired trends, ideas, strategies and innovative ingredients. For more information, visit www.plantpoweredsummit.com.
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