Plant-Based Foods Get Time in Grocery Store Spotlight

The Plant Based Foods Association, which represents makers of foods with plant-derived proteins, is working closely with a California grocery store chain to promote products made by the association’s members. The campaign puts vegetarian meals front and center.

It’s not often that veggie burgers, rice milk, or similar plant-based foods get a lot of love in the grocery store.

But thanks to a collaboration with the Plant Based Foods Association, veggie foods are going to be the star of the show at one supermarket chain. Lucky Supermarkets is working closely with PBFA and 16 of its member brands to promote the plant-based alternatives to shoppers at the chain’s 70 stores throughout Northern California. Running through December 2, the promotional campaign will include point-of-sale ads, an educational/coupon booklet for customers, radio advertising, tasting demos, and even a celebrity appearance.

Additionally, locations will also target messaging at store employees in break rooms and on store registers.

Michele Simon, the executive director PBFA, said that Lucky was an “incredible partner in this first-of-its-kind shopper marketing campaign,” in part because many of its members already had a presence in Lucky’s stores.

“We were pleasantly surprised to see so many PBFA member brands already offered at Lucky stores, and now we want everyone to discover them, from plant-based milks, to yogurt, to cheeses, to many varieties of meat,” Simon said in comments to Progressive Grocer. “There is truly a plant-based option for everyone.”

The campaign comes at a time of growth for the industry. Over all categories of plant-based food, sales are up by 20 percent in 2018, according to a Nielsen study conducted on behalf of the association. Among the largest areas of growth are plant-based dairy outside of milk (50 percent growth), vegetarian meals (28 percent), and plant-based meats (24 percent growth).

(Handout photo)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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