How to start making plant-based products? Part I
The transition of conventional product manufacturers to the plant-based category is a process that requires precise planning and a lot of commitment from the entire Team. To give you an idea of how to get started with plant-based product’s adoption, we have prepared a small checklist.
1. Define your goals and keep your mind open to the competition
Depending on what business sector you are working in, try to define your business and sales goals, and consequently your production goals. Consider and research whether the idea for a new product or product category emerges from an actual need coming from consumers.
At this point, it is worth visiting – together with your Sales and R&D team – trade fairs where you will find representatives of your current and future competitors. Regarding the trade fairs, following events are worth noting, among others: PLMA Amsterdam, ANUGA in Cologne, and SIAL in Paris.
2. Clarify the present and the future needs of your customers
The next step is the need to understand the categories and consumer habits. To do this, it is worthwhile to equip yourself with market research that will allow you to get an answer to Consumers’ needs for plant-based products, current and future trends, and what is the development perspective of the chosen product category.
A sample online survey – conducted as part of quantitative research – should include the following questions:
- How often do you reach for plant-based products (specify the product category: dairy, meat alternatives, snacks, nutrition, cosmetics)?
- What guides your choice of plant-based products?
- What plant-based products do you reach for most often?
- What plant-based products do you avoid?
- What products with what plant-based ingredients do you reach for most often?
- What plant-based ingredients do you avoid?
- Are you quicker to buy a product made “locally” by a new player or do you reach for products from established brands?
In addition, it’s a good idea to ask respondents about their expectations, concerns, goals, and dreams. This will help you identify consumer insights and find a satisfactory answer.
Remember to conduct your research through a proven research agency. The number of people – on whom the survey will be conducted – should include a minimum of 1024 respondents.
3. Take care of the Team of specialists
Bet on a mixed Team consisting of experts, specialists, but also people starting their professional careers in plant-based product development. Focus on people with education or experience in, for example, food technology, or sourcing and data science on the plant-based market.
Try to ensure that Team members not only believe in your company’s values, mission, and motto but also support the idea of plant-based category development.
4. Bet on a proven supplier of plant-based ingredients
A very important aspect is to find and establish a relationship with an experienced and specialized supplier of plant-based ingredients. Before choosing an ingredient supplier, pay particular attention to: certifications held, principles and model of cooperation with customers and suppliers, advantages, as well as shared values. Verify that your supplier understands trends and drivers in the plant-based sector. Check the extent of assistance you can count on during the cooperation. Will you also gain technical and technological advice by establishing a partnership with an ingredient supplier? Can your supplier’s experience save you from trial and error, and on top of that, guide you in “shortcuts” and optimize the time to achieve your goal?
Now it’s getting interesting, isn’t it? We will soon publish more advice for current and future leaders of the plant-based category.
If you are looking for a supplier of plant-based ingredients – you can turn to us. As Vegan Stock since 2018, we have been supporting the business of European manufacturers by providing ingredients – exclusively – of plant-based origin. We will be happy to talk about your idea or project and provide the most suitable ingredients for its implementation.
Click and join our newsletter
The best for you
Reach us out
Vegan Stock sp. z o.o.
6, Józefa Marcika Str,
30-443 Kraków, Poland
Tax ID No. PL7352876025