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16 March 2021
Could blended meat products be the future?
NPDMeat, poultry, fish
Plant-based foods are currently growing in popularity but blended meat products, containing a combination of meat and vegetables, may be a bigger long-term market – if marketers can successfully address the issues surrounding them.
Why it matters
No-one expects consumers to completely switch from meat to non-meat options. Hybrid alternatives could be a healthier option that is still familiar to consumers while removing millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, according to Just Food. They could also open a route to market for meat produced by cellular agriculture.
The marketing issues
The ‘flexitarian’ consumer is an obvious target audience but brands will need to understand their reaction to such things as convenience, taste and satiety (satisfaction) and tailor their messaging accordingly.
Existing marketing signals around meat and plants are very different and it may be difficult to reconcile these.
With manufacturers focused on plant-based products, there is an understandable reluctance to fragment a nascent category and risk consumer confusion.
How products are described will be crucial; language that suggests modification and processing should be avoided.
“There is a significant difference in a plant-based analogue that relies on hyper-processing to achieve a meat-like eating experience and a burger that relies on regeneratively-farmed meat combined with real veggies” – Melissa Abbott, vice president, Hartman Retainer Services.