Over the last few years, veganism has really taken off in the UK and worldwide. With approximately 1.6 million people in the UK now embracing the vegan diet. It’s not just individuals that are getting into the vegan spirit, with major brands like Greggs, Heinz and a few of our own clients like Simpsons Fish and Chips and Naughty Vegan producing vegan products and alternatives to suit those who have welcomed the vegan lifestyle.
Understanding how to market your vegan products can be difficult as it’s still quite a new concept to many brands. We’re here to help with our top 5 ways on how to do vegan marketing properly.
1. An engaging market strategy
When Greggs announced that they’d be launching a new vegan sausage roll in 2019 they did so using a comical, over dramatised video that broke down the ‘features’ of the infamous vegan sausage roll. From its ‘vegan core’ to its ‘optimal flake resolution’ their video acknowledged all parts of the baked vegan good, paired with the hashtag #vegansausageroll.
The announcement of their vegan sausage roll was perfectly timed, as it coincided with Veganuary, where people commit to not eating any animal products for the whole month of January.
Their vegan marketing strategy didn’t stop there, anticipating some backlash from the public, Greggs amped up their social media strategy. This saw the official Greggs Twitter account sarcastically replying to those who were outraged by the vegan announcement, including a funny response to Piers Morgan, who was less than impressed by the new launch. Piers preceded the release of the vegan sausage rolls tweeting to his huge number of followers: “Nobody is waiting for a vegan bloody sausage, you PC-ravaged clowns”. Digital Brand Manager of Greggs Neil Knowles, replied from their Newcastle headquarters, within a few minutes saying “Oh hello Piers, we’ve been expecting you.”
Their witty and lighthearted responses to those that were less than impressed by the meat free alternative was a great way to engage their audience, keeping people talking about the product and increasing anticipation for its release. It was a clear success, with vegans and non-vegans raving about the vegan sausage roll on the first day of trying it, and many branches across the country even selling out on the first day. The vegan sausage roll now has a permanent place on the Greggs menu, 3 years later and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
2. A very catchy strapline
In January 2020, the food giant, Heinz, launched a vegan marketing campaign that saw them relabel all of their beans tins. They changed their memorable slogan from ‘Beanz Meanz Heinz’ to the catchy ‘Beanz Meanz Vegan’. The campaign along with its simple headline went down a treat with fans of the brand, whether they were vegan or not.
Heinz’s clever campaign, not only acknowledged the growing vegan population, it also educated consumers and playfully reminded everyone that their product is free of animal products, including the no-added sugar variety that formerly contained honey. Their catchy strapline managed to put this to the forefront of their consumers minds. In a more general sense the campaign successfully showcased vegan food that wouldn’t break the bank. A lot of people’s perception of vegan products is that they have to be expensive and ultra fancy. Heinz beans are cheap and cheerful, keeping it real and catering to vegans at a time when their numbers are growing.
For those who were trialling veganism during Veganuary, Heinz is a simple and familiar solution for any new vegans who may be struggling for meal ideas and they’re a brand the nation knows and trusts. The labels were only limited edition, but a great way to spark conversation and encourage vegan marketing for their brand.
3. Showcase your vegan dishes with tasty images
It’s true when they say people eat with their eyes. Award-winning fish and chips shop, Simpsons Fish and Chips, went beyond the traditional fish and chips experience with a variety of new vegan options added to their menu. From tofish, fralapenos and even vegan patties they covered it all to celebrate World Vegan Month.
They used veganism as an opportunity to try new flavours and capture a larger audience, making it possible for vegans to enjoy food from a fish and chips shop with a difference. With the support of social media they showcased their new vegan dishes that came packaged in their fish and chip boxes to really add to the authentic experience. A great way to get people excited to try your vegan food and products is by showing it off as the norm, ensuring everyone feels included in the typical experience within your business.
The reason why a lot of people may have initial reservations about trying vegan products is because they look different to what they’re used to. Making sure you include tasty images that are just as mouth-wateringly delicious looking and, tasting of course, as your non-vegan products is essential when creating your vegan marketing strategy.
4. Collaborate with foodie social media influencers
A vegan brand we’ve loved working with is Cookoo. Their brand ambassador, Christian Day, an ex-rugby player and Masterchef contestant, was passionate about promoting vegan food on social media. He published and engaged with his 17.3k following on social media, to showcase Cookoo’s vegan range to a new digital-focused audience.
Using social media food influencers is a great way to directly target consumers and reach new customers too. It sparks immediate interest when someone with a large following shares a food recommendation and naturally through word of mouth and sharing this on social media more people will want to try your products. It also makes your brand more personable, as you’re not behind the pushing of your own product, a real person is doing this for you instead which is a nice change and fulfils consumers with trust. Their sweet and savoury vegan products were shown off by the influencer and worked really well with onboarding new customers.
5. Define a distinct brand personality
We also had fun working with Naughty Vegan, a vegan brand with a difference. They have a cheeky and distinct brand personality which really bodes well when trying to stand out in the vegan market. When creating their brand identity we knew it had to be bold, full of character and differentiate Naughty Vegan from any other competition.
It was important that their brand attracted customers and stood out on the shop shelves. The best way to do this was to be bold and fun with their packaging, using bright yellow and playing on the naughty vs nice narrative with their images. With vegan pasties adorned with halos and their sausage rolls wearing devil horns. The creative copy lines like ‘no piggy in the middle rolls’ for their sausage rolls also add to their branding and set them apart from the ordinary plant-based company’s.
Making sure your brand doesn’t get lost in the crowd is essential when vegan marketing. As the years have gone on there are more brands hopping on board the vegan train, meaning there’s more competition. Don’t be afraid to stand out, be bold, clever and creative to ensure your brand has a distinct personality of its own.
Since their brand launched, Naughty Vegan have been acknowledged in The Grocer New Product Awards which honours for the greatest innovation and creativity in the food and drink industry.
As veganism grows in popularity within the UK, brands need to make sure that they’re marketing their vegan products and brands in the right way. By following these 5 ways on what you should do to market vegan properly, it will help your brand’s vegan marketing strategy grow from strength to strength.
If you’re looking to launch a new vegan product, and would like a hand in organising your marketing strategy get in touch with our creative team!
Image sources: 1) https://www.marketingweek.com/masters-brand-of-the-year-2019-shorltlist-greggs/ 2)https://www.livekindly.co/heinz-relabeled-vegan-beans/#:~:text=The%202020%20marketing%20campaign%20reaffirms,of%20animal%20ingredients%E2%80%94in%20mind 3) https://simpsonsfishandchips.com/5-vegan-dishes-enjoy-simpsons/ 4) https://eat-marketing.co.uk/naughty-vegan-branding/
Make an impact with your vegan food packaging design
When it comes to vegan food packaging design, it’s clear that customers buy with their eyes. In such a competitive market, if you’re looking to make an impact with your packaging design and boost sales, we can help.Get in touch