Founder Axel Katalan said recent closures – including Meatless Farm, who managed to secure a buyer in VFC only after all staff were made redundant – will be looked back on as a turning point for the plant-based category.
“It's not the end of a 'fad' but plant-based is reaching a mass tipping point,” said Katalan.
Rationalisation of products
“The category has been booming and with any exponential growth, there will unfortunately be a rationalisation of products or companies that don’t make it as part of that high-growth process. However, with so many plant-based brands currently on the market, it's important to learn from this.”
While there is a risk that smaller players could be bullied out of the market by larger businesses, no amount of money can make up for a lack of quality – and quality is what drives repeat purchases with consumers.
Katalan went on to detail some key steps start-ups should take to secure a foothold in the market and stand toe to toe with the industry giants.
Focusing in on what’s important
“What you need to focus on in the beginning to anchor and establish your brand changes on the way up so it's important your funding is being used effectively whilst also hiring people that have experienced the growth stages of your company to keep you on track,” he added
“Find your niche – launching lots of products very quickly or diversifying your range beyond recognition may not be a recipe for success. Find your USP, be original and make sure to still give your core or best-selling product a lot of focus to keep your base sales up.”
Meanwhile, cultured meat was one of the key topics of discussion at this year’s British Meat Processors Association 2023 conference, Meat Industry 2.0.