Why Veganuary is such an important month in the retail calendar…

Veganuary has grown exponentially over the last few years. All food retailers are competing for the best and most innovative plant-based range of meals. This includes the pet sector, with it seeing a rise of plant-based pet food on the shelves. Restaurant groups and fast food chains are increasing their vegan options month on month… Nothing proves vegan food is becoming more and more mainstream than the launch of the McPlant at McDonalds.

‘New McPlant features an impressive build including – A vegan burger made with a juicy plant-based patty co-developed with Beyond Meat® featuring vegan sandwich sauce, ketchup, mustard, onion, pickles, lettuce, tomato, and a vegan alternative to cheese in a sesame seed bun. The burger is Vegan certified’. McDonalds has confirmed the nationwide rollout of the McPlant is likely to coincide with Veganuary (January 2022).

Successfully showcasing your plant-based products in what is becoming a more saturated market, has never been so important – with each Vegan brand or product range wanting to use the momentum to become a beacon brand.

Although space in the aisle is growing, brands need to work harder to promote their plant-based options to consumers, whilst attempting to secure premium shelf space.

Figures from Veganuary 2021, showcased more than 500,000 people signed up for the 31-day annual vegan challenge. They are confident they’ll see a rise in sign-up for 2022 as there has been a steady increase in numbers of vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians, and those adopting a climatarian style diet. The consumer is wanting to reduce their consumption of animal products and reduce their carbon footprint, so naturally, brands and retailers are reacting to cater to this lifestyle change.

It is estimated that more than a quarter of all evening meals in the UK are now either vegan or vegetarian.

Supermarkets and their growing support for Plant-based alternatives

A recent Waitrose report claims Eco-conscious Brits are going vegan/vegetarian five days if not completely, or choosing to eat meat based products purely at the weekend. Will this lifestyle change be the new 5:2?

By 2020 all major Supermarkets had launched their own plant-based range. Tesco was recently named the number one plant-based supermarket in the UK with 76 own brand plant-based products. They have also revealed a target of a 300% rise in vegan meat sales and committed to selling more plant-based sausages, burgers, and products designed to emulate meat. It’s also trying to plug a gap in the vegan market by introducing vegan fish dishes.

Another report, this time Sainsburys, predicted that by 2025, out of all UK consumers, vegans and vegetarians would make up a quarter of the British population in 2025, whilst flexitarians (those who eat both plant-based foods and meat-based) would make up just under half.

Why choose Mirror as a Retail Marketing Partner?

The rise of veganism and vegetarianism provides a raft of positives for the environment, it has also assisted in launching some great new brands and start-ups to shake up the FMCG category. The bigger players within the industry are fighting back on plant-based alternatives and new recipes, as they can see the plant-based market is booming. There is now stiff competition, so what do these brands do to stand out from the crowd, and continue to use the education and awareness at the forefront of society to grow and secure further brand advocacy?

At Mirror, we are an experienced and established retail marketing partner – we are small enough to care and offer a bespoke offering to each and every client we work with. Working in partnership to listen and learn about your values, goals, and target audience, whilst sharing our knowledge and expertise across the retail landscape. Yet we have a robust expert team of nationwide merchandisers, auditors, and brand ambassadors who can flex and adapt quickly within the fast-paced FMCG sector.

Although we are aware that almost 20% of the nation has used online shopping during 2021 – data also showcases the increase in shoppers visiting stores in some cases daily, as they want to shop fresh to support reducing waste and plastics. With more and more supermarkets offering to recycle in-store, and refill, re-use option it is driving traffic into store.

Sampling, In-store outreach, and demonstrations – are now back in play offering brands strong returns. Connecting with customers and understanding their shopping habits… and sharing new plant-based options with them… is a very rewarding in-store marketing proposition.

New Product Launches – Not only is it important to ensure new products are available for consumers as soon as they arrive in-store, eye-catching displays, promotional merchandise, and educating store colleagues, support in-house brand advocacy. Ultimately, most supermarkets want to be high on the priority list to be able to showcase they are at the forefront of any new plant-based launches!

Promotional & Planogram Compliance – stock on the shelf and availability are key to a consumer purchasing your plant-based products. However, making sure your agreed space in-store is perfectly merchandised and compliant to your specifically designed planograms is paramount. Team Mirror will ensure compliance on fixtures or promotions. In addition, we’ll create an agreed strategy on how to fix any non-compliant space! With the current supply chain challenges, it is important to have a strategy, to help avoid any gaps or out of stocks. This could be to over-face with a line that has good availability… or simply provide photographic evidence and report back, enabling your in-house team to report back to the retailer.

So, what next?

Mirror has a great understanding of the plant-based category and retail as a whole. We also have the complete one-stop solution, including warehousing and logistics to support brands and retailers. As an agency we are working to be as sustainable as possible – we’d love the opportunity to work with brands and retailers who want to support the environment, whilst evolving the retail landscape and supporting the British consumer to make better choices. This is one of the reasons why having the right field marketing team by your side will make all the difference and allow your products to stand out from the crowd.

If you’re interested in learning more about Mirror, and more importantly how we can help your brand achieve results, through an honest and open partnership – please get in touch with us today? Email: pip@mirrormarketing.co.uk