Hip, “Scandi”-inspired branding and tasty food that’s helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions… The Meatless Farm is certainly making huge strides in the food industry.
It’s an eye-catching start-up-to-scale-up success story on the global stage. Agile, innovative and sustainable, they’re only just getting started…
Firstly, we’d love to know how you think the food industry has changed over the last few years. Plant-based everything is popping up left, right and centre. Why?
“Good question. Well, it’s pretty clear to everyone that the demand for plant-based has grown exponentially. Rarely a day goes by that it’s not featured somewhere on the news! Our research has actually revealed that 54% of British consumers are increasing the amount of plant-based food they’re eating this year, with further statistics showing that vegans and vegetarians will make up one-quarter of the UK’s population, and flexitarians 50%, in the next half-decade. This is being driven by a surge towards a healthier lifestyle, animal welfare concerns and sustainability. Our research also indicates that 65% of British consumers are planning to consume less meat in 2020 for animal welfare reasons and 52% to benefit their health. Plant-based isn’t a fad; it’s here to stay, I think people are really waking up to and embracing this now.”
We agree, it certainly looks like a trend that’s here to stay. So, why do you think The Meatless Farm has been so successful?
“Our experts and chefs spent two years developing products that deliver on the cook, look, taste and health factors. We know that texture and taste are the biggest barriers to people going meat-free and we prioritised this from the beginning. We want swapping to plant-based to be as easy as possible for people! I also think there’s a case for nutrition, this is so important to consumers and we’ve managed to create products that can give the right bite and flavour but are also high in protein, a source of fibre, and gluten-free. We believe in balance, which has been a crucial message in everything we’ve done to date and I think this really resonates with consumers. We’re making swapping to plant-based tasty and easy, even if you’re doing it once or twice a week. There are no preachy or extreme views here – just positive and balanced change!”
You’ve got a hefty social media following considering you’re a new company. People absolutely love your stuff. So, with that in mind, how important do you think social media has been in helping you get your products and message out into the mass market?
“Social media is the linchpin of any start-up’s marketing plans and it’s been fundamental to The Meatless Farm’s success. This is where we really drive our trial and awareness, inspiring and educating consumers about our plant-based food and showing them just how easy (and delicious) it is to swap. We’ve been able to build an extensive network of fans and bloggers who we engage with regularly. It also gives us direct communication to customers who have questions regarding the product – which is absolutely invaluable.”
As you probably know, we’re all about ‘the why’ at Recart in terms of talent attraction, branding and culture. What do you think your ‘why’ is at The Meatless Farm? What makes you all tick?
“Reducing meat consumption and changing the global food system is essential for the environment and we’re really passionate about this at Meatless Farm. In 2019, we launched The Meatless Consumption Target, which looks to get people eating one more plant-based meal a week by 2021. If every household in the UK swapped one more red meat meal for a plant-based meal a week, it would cut the UK’s greenhouse gases by 8.4% – the equivalent of 16 million cars off the road. The collective impact we can have through making these small swaps is huge, and it’s a step towards creating a better future.”
Where do you see the company in five years?
“Well, our mission as a company is to help people make small changes in their life that have a huge impact, part of that is creating a more sustainable global food system. We see Meatless Farm and the rise in demand for meat alternatives as key to this movement. We’ll continue to grow our product range and expand in the UK and internationally. When we started, we were battling smaller start-ups, we’re now battling corporate food giants. Health and sustainability concerns will continue to drive innovation and demand for meatless products.”
Want to share your story and do a Q+A with us? Email Joannapayne@recart.co.uk for more info.