Innovation, marketing are key weapons for plant-based brands to fight retail own-label products

Plant-based brand owners are facing growing competition from the rising number of own-label products being launched by retailers – and need to act quickly, argues GlobalData.

Dean Best, Food Editor at GlobalData, says:

The markets for alternatives to dairy and meat continue to grow in a number of countries and, while there are still lucrative opportunities for brand owners, healthy consumer demand has sparked retailers into action.

In the opening days of 2020, the time of year when the plant-based market rides consumer interest in healthy-eating, major retailers have launched brands and extended existing ranges to attract customers.

In the UK, Asda, Walmart's UK chain, has launched 48 own-label products to coincide with Veganuary – the month when consumers are encouraged to try a vegan diet. Local rival The Co-op has rolled out a new meat-free brand, dubbed Gro, while Aldi’s UK arm has launched 14 more plant-based products.

In the US, major grocer Kroger has launched a range of meat alternatives under its flagship own label Simple Truth.

Brand owners can still find openings. Sainsbury's has started to stock products from fledgling UK branded business Moving Mountains, which is also listed in more than 800 Woolworths stores in Australia.

Kavli, the Nordic food manufacturer, has also revealed it has won listings at Sainsbury’s for Beanit, a plant-based brand it already markets in Finland.

However, brand owners should be under no illusion that competition is intensifying, especially in the area of price, with Asda touting the value of its new own-label products.

Innovation and marketing will be key weapons in the brand owners’ armory to differentiate their products and to try to convince consumers of the quality of their products.”

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