Plant Based and Botanicals – High Interest, Little Knowledge

We’ve been conducting research around trends and sharing these with the insights community for some time now, and our latest piece adds to a long history of exploring ingredients:

  • 2009 Exploring Natural
  • 2012 Natural Follow Up
  • 2016 Sustainability
  • 2018 Clean Label
  • 2019 – 2020 Trendy Ingredients / Plant Based
The latest in this long line of studies was presented in July, and we were grateful to have Ian Weinkselbaum, Sr. Director Consumer & Market Insights at Materne North America with us to share their journey optimizing the positioning of GoGo squeeZ, already a plant-based brand, in an environment where consumers are increasingly motivated by plant-based claims.

Along with Ian’s examples of how the brand has navigated the plant-based space, Martin Oxley, MD for buzzback in Europe, shared our latest research on Plant-Based and Botanical products, setting out to understand:

  • What consumers are looking for and why
  • What product categories are leading the trend
  • How to capitalize on emerging trends for your brand

A few high-level themes emerged:

  • Major drivers of plant-based & botanicals ​purchases are health-related (no surprise, I’m sure)​
  • However, variety-seeking also key driver – ​especially food/beverage​
  • Plant-based & Botanicals signal other cues:​ Natural, Simple, Clean, Environmentally-Friendly​
  • Communicating & positioning are specific to category​
  • Balance of ‘eco’ and ‘ego’ – dynamic is changing​

Lastly, one key finding that should excite brands in this area: consumer knowledge is very top level (when prompted they know the names of plant based and botanical ingredients, but there is no depth of understanding), but they are very interested and open to trying.

For inspiration for your brand, view the recording of the presentation here