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7 Success Tactics for Thriving in the Global Food Revolution

In an industry brimming with great thinking and literally bursting at the seams with amazing potential, the plant-based sector stands dead-centre of the global food revolution. Driving this profound shift are the visionaries and trailblazers whose stories are as rich and varied as the products they create. Among them is Scott Mathias, Editor in Chief of PlanetFood News, a man whose expertise weaves through the intricate tapestry of plant-based cuisine, integrative nutrition, and compelling storytelling based on sound editorial skills.


Scott Mathias

Scott (left) is not only renowned for his savory culinary creations but also for his acumen in communicating the essence of a brand and its offerings. His narrative is one championing the sustainable and the ethical, a voice resonating with clarity and passion in a market going through 'birthing pains.'


In this exclusive Q&A, Simon Masters, guest writer for PlanetFood News, delves into the nuggets of wisdom Scott has gathered along his journey. From the importance of Founders and CEOs being the heartbeat of their brands to the intricate dance of balancing product transparency with consumer education, Scott unpacks the art and science of thriving in the plant-based products market.


As we begin this dialogue, Scott offers not just answers but also a roadmap to success for those who seek to make their mark in the flourishing domain of plant-based and 'new protein' innovation and product development Here are the seven secrets that can help any founder or CEO carve out a space both authentically and uniquely successful.


Young entrepreneur

Q1: Simon Masters: Scott, with your extensive background in communications, branding, and as a plant-based chef and writer, how critical do you think it is for the founders and CEOs of plant-based and 'new protein' product companies to be actively engaging with their consumers and sharing their personal motivations for creating non-animal alternatives?


A1: Scott Mathias: It's absolutely vital. We're navigating through what I like to call the 'birthing pains' of the plant-based and 'new proteins' products market. In such a phase, authenticity and transparency become key differentiators. Founders and CEOs need to be the storytellers of their brands, articulating not just the 'what' but the 'why' behind their products. This connection builds trust and fosters a community of consumers who feel aligned with the brand's values. Given my journey through integrative nutrition and understanding the essence of what we consume, I firmly believe the narrative should be just as nourishing as the food itself.


Q2: Simon Masters: Considering your expertise in both the culinary and nutritional aspects of plant-based living, how important is it for companies to provide comprehensive product profiles, from the narrative to the nanoscopic details of their ingredients?


A2: Scott Mathias: It's critical. In today's market, consumers are becoming more informed and curious than ever. They want to know everything - from the origin of the ingredients and the farmers' benefits to the flavour profiles and environmental impact of packaging and shipping. This level of transparency satisfies the consumer's hunger for information and builds a deeper trust. Moreover, it aids food service distributors, supermarket category managers, and ultimately the end consumer in making informed choices. My experience has shown a well-informed consumer is a loyal customer.


Q3: Simon Masters: How can founders and CEOs use their platforms to highlight the benefits of plant-based eating not just for individual health but also for the planet?


A3: Scott Mathias: They should use every available channel to communicate the multifaceted benefits of plant-based and 'new protein' eating. Integrating personal stories with scientific data and environmental statistics can create a compelling narrative. For example, sharing how switching to plant-based diets can reduce one's carbon footprint while also addressing personal health issues can be very persuasive. Additionally, leveraging social media, press coverage, and even packaging to convey these messages ensures information reaches a wide audience. It's about painting an holistic picture of the positive impacts.



Q4: Simon Masters: With your knowledge in integrative nutrition, how can companies ensure their products meet the nutritional needs of their consumers while also appealing to their taste preferences?


A4: Scott Mathias: The key is in the balance of nutrition, texture and flavour. It begins with selecting high-quality, nutrient-dense ingredients with the potential to create delicious flavours. It's essential to involve culinary professionals in the product development process to ensure health and taste are expertly combined. Additionally, educating consumers on the health benefits of each product, backed by clear, accessible nutritional information, helps them make choices aligning with their dietary needs and preferences. The new generations are particularly 'picky' when it comes to facts about the food they are eating.


Q5: Simon Masters: Scott, in today's digital age, how important is it for plant-based companies to include a media-facing portal on their websites, featuring high-resolution product imagery, concise product profiles, and detailed information about key personnel, company vision, and long-term goals?


A5: Scott Mathias: It's absolutely essential. A media-facing portal serves as a crucial bridge between plant-based companies and the broader public, including journalists, bloggers, and influencers who can amplify their message. High-resolution product imagery in .jpeg format and concise product profiles enable media professionals to accurately represent these products in their stories. Additionally, providing information about key personnel adds a human element to the brand, making it more relatable and trustworthy.

So too, articulating the company's vision and long-term goals offers insight into the brand's direction and the impact they aim to achieve, which can resonate deeply with consumers and stakeholders alike. This level of accessibility and transparency not only facilitates smoother communication with the media but also strengthens brand perception and supports the growth of the plant-based movement. It's a strategy underscoring the company's commitment to openness, quality, and community engagement, key factors for success in the rapidly evolving plant-based sector.


Q6: Simon Masters: In terms of the comprehensive product profiles you mentioned, how can brands effectively communicate the sustainability of their packaging and shipping processes to environmentally conscious consumers?


A6: Scott Mathias: Sustainability is a key concern for today's consumers, and rightly so. Brands need to be transparent about their efforts to minimise environmental impact, including the sustainability of their packaging and shipping methods. This can be achieved through detailed product profiles highlighting the use of recyclable materials, carbon-neutral shipping options, and other green initiatives which include recognisable certification. Engaging content telling the story of these efforts, such as behind-the-scenes looks at the packaging process or partnerships with sustainable suppliers, can also resonate well with consumers.


Q7: Simon Masters: Finally, Scott, how do you foresee the future of the plant-based products market evolving, and what advice would you offer to newcomers in the industry?


A7: Scott Mathias: The future is bright for the plant-based products market. As we become more aware of the health, environmental, and ethical benefits, demand will continue to grow. My advice to newcomers is to stay true to your values, focus on transparency and quality, and never underestimate the power of a compelling story. Remember, it's not just about creating an alternative; it's about offering a solution aligning with the evolving consciousness of consumers worldwide. Innovation should be at the core of what you do, but it should always be guided by the intention to nourish both people and the planet. Engage with your community, listen to their feedback, and continuously strive to improve. And perhaps most importantly, leverage the platforms available to you - social media, and beyond - to share your story and the benefits of plant-based food and new protein. The journey of educating and converting consumers to plant-based options is a marathon, not a sprint. Stay resilient, passionate, and committed to making a difference. With authenticity and perseverance, there's tremendous potential to shape a healthier, more sustainable future for all.


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