“Rather than resist the inevitable, smart animal agriculture businesses are getting in on the plant-based revolution by buying or investing in plant-based brands,” writes Katrina Fox for Forbes.
The founder of VeganBusinessMedia.com, author of Vegan Ventures: Start and Grow an Ethical Business and host of the Vegan Business Talk podcast says the future of business is vegan and it’s a lucrative one, too as businesses like Tyson Foods invest in companies like Beyond Meat, Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods buying two leading plant-based meat producers Lightlife and Field Roast.
“Finally recognized for its positive impact on sustainability and animal welfare without the need to sacrifice taste or style, vegan living is starting to become the norm,” writes Fox. She urges businesses to take note: “Sales of plant-based food went up by 8.1% during the past year, topping $3.1 billion.”
The category leading the way is the nondairy milk sector, expected to represent a stunning 40 percent of the total dairy and dairy alternative in the next three years. While cow milk sales have been on a decades-long downward stumble, the widespread acceptance of nondairy milk has lent itself to the rise in vegan cheese, yogurt, and 2017 was the unofficial Year of Vegan Ice Cream with the leading mainstream producers from Ben & Jerry’s to Halo Top all launching nondairy offerings.
Fox finds examples everywhere — from vegan butchers as the top new job trend for 2017 to the increase for vegan grab ‘n’ go options to McDonald’s vegan burger success in Scandinavia of all places. There are trends in fashion, beauty, even car interiors all turning away from the unethical and untenable animal-based industries.
But perhaps the most notable indicator of this inevitable shift in 2017 was the Campbell Soup Company leaving the antiquated Grocery Manufacturers Association to join the nascent Plant Based Foods Association — a shift that will help the plant-based food industry achieve the recognition and opportunities it deserves.
“It’s a brave new business world,” Fox writes, “one in which growing numbers of consumers will continue to demand sustainable and ethical products.”
If you’re about to start a business, it’s worth making your products vegan-friendly from the start. If you already have a business, consider veganizing it by removing any animal-based ingredients or components (this includes bee products, wool and silk). Going a step further by gaining certified vegan status from the Vegan Society (UK) or Vegan Action (US) will help to set your brand apart from those that merely pay lip service to ethics.”