Caulipower Outperforms Meatless Burgers
Monday, June 17th, 2019 | 1181 Views
Tiny entrepreneurial start-up Caulipower’s vegetable-based pizza achieved $45 million in US sales in 2018, its first full year on the market, and is anticipating $100 million this year. That’s a far more impressive performance, said Julian Mellentin, director of food business consultancy New Nutrition Business, than that of meatless burger maker Beyond Meat, which managed US grocery sales of $50 million in the same year, despite massive publicity, hype and over $200 million of investment.
“The success of Caulipower—and other plant-based brands just like it—underscores that consumers don’t want extruded plant protein burgers as much as they want convenient, all-natural vegetables,” said Mellentin, author of a new report, “How to succeed with the plant-based food trend: Four strategies for success—and one to avoid”.
Caulipower—and tens of brands like it, from PepsiCo’s Off the Eaten Path to Love Beets—align closely with what the health-conscious consumer wants, said Mellentin. Plant-based products with short ingredient lists that are ‘natural’ and ‘least-processed’ link strongly to the eight consumer motivations that are driving the plant-based food trend, he adds.
For many consumers, for example, having even just 20 percent or 30 percent of veggies in a burger, cookie or pizza crust gives the product a health halo that makes it seem like a better choice – and, in the case of Caulipower, offers a gluten-free alternative to a conventional pizza.
“The plant-based food trend presents companies and brands with a major growth opportunity, but they need to choose strategy carefully,” cautioned Mellentin. “There are five strategies that food companies can choose from. One of these – plant-based meat substitutes—is already a hyper-competitive market. But there are four other strategies that offer much better opportunities for building a profitable and sustainable business.”
“Burgers made from plant proteins are held up as the next growth market—and Silicon Valley investors are getting excited about their money-making potential,” he said.
“But many of these investors will be disappointed, because the meat substitute business is already underperforming and seriously overcrowded compared to other plant-based offerings, and fails to meet consumers’ needs for simple, natural and least-processed foods.”