Industry leaders partner to launch plant-based report

12/11/2018 - 06:00
Plant-based specialist Alpro has teamed up with BB Foodservice to help foodservice operators “unlock the potential for plant-based sales,’ with the launch of their brand new report: ‘Plant-based profits’.

Speaking at the launch event, director of trading at BB Foodservice, Steve Carter, explained: “We’ve seen first-hand how demand for plant-based products have skyrocketed in years, and its showing no signs of slowing down.

“That’s why (BB Foodservice) has called on Alpro’s expertise to launch this report. Complete with recipe suggestions, it ensures operators know what their customers expect.”

While plant-based drinks such as soya, coconut and oat are increasingly common on menus, Alpro and BB Foodservice said that it is baristas’ varied knowledge of such drinks that led them to produce the paper.

Vicky Bhattu, Alpro UK & Ireland marketing director, explained: “The report will help to educate the industry on the scope of the opportunity and raise awareness of quality, plant-based options for the foodservice market”, including its Alpro For Professionals range created especially for baristas.

Among the first to receive ‘Plant-based profits,’ Katie Imms from Cost Sector Catering attended the exclusive launch event last week (8 October), which included insight, samples and a tour of Islington’s (London) coffee shops to see how independents and chains alike are promoting dairy alternative drinks.

Not only are they pitched as being healthier and more environmentally-conscious to their dairy counterparts, plant-based drinks are also much more versatile as they suitable for vegetarians.

According to the report, the hospitality industry can capitalise on the trend in two main categories: drinks and breakfast. Prime examples, which Imms sampled on the day, include bircher muesli, overnight oats and porridge; washed down with a coconut flat white or soya latte.

With one in three Brits claiming to ‘regularly buy plant-based drinks out-of-home (OOH)’ and a further one in three households buying them in retail, the industry has grown by £129 million in just three years. It is currently worth an estimated £443m in the UK today, and is expected to increase by a further 43% in the next four years.

Alpro and BB Foodservice are therefore calling on foodservice operators to tap into the trend, urging: “Plant-based is an opportunity you need to embrace.”

While the research found that plant-based coffee drinkers drink out-of-home more often, they also spend more – typically 20% more on a hot drink. But there is still work to be done, as almost one in three said they would visit and buy more often if their favourite dairy alternative drink was available.

This shows that not all establishments are still yet to offer dairy alternative drinks and for those that there, two in three consumers said they would like coffee shops to have more than one plant-based drink choice on menus.

Plant-based alternatives have ‘virtually propelled into every sector of the foodservice industry,’ the duo claim, meaning that ‘plant-based shoppers are valuable to business’.

View the full report attached, or visit the BB Foodservice and Alpro websites for more information.

Copyright 2017 Cost Sector Catering
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