Updated: Jul 4, 2019
The first step toward a successful protein transition.
The demand for non-animal protein is increasing — slowly, but consistently. We can no longer speak of a trend, yet more see it as an evolution. Still, there is a long way to go. The amount of money spent on animal-free protein is small change compared to the consumption of animal protein. If this evolution will lose its momentum, then the whole protein transition will risk of becoming marginal. So we have work to do.
We believe that protein transition requires a change of mind — a behavioural change. The behavioural change will only happen when the prerequisites for such change are attained.
The first step to attitude change is motivation. If the motivation for change is lacking, then change will not happen. It is people who make strategies succeed, not the other way round.
Read more about the three prerequisites to get people motivated for a protein transition.
It must offer consumers benefits
Nobody will change if change doesn't improve a situation or comes with benefits. These benefits can be rational or emotional. When a product delivers both rational and emotional benefits, the chances of considering a shift are considerably higher. The question that vegan and vegetarian food developers should ask is, are our products improving the life of the consumer — psychologically or physiologically? If not, why should they consider our products in the first place? Vegan and vegetarian products must blend with today's consumers' busy lives. Convenience, diversity, time-saving, great results, versatility and health, a feeling of being social responsible. These are benefits that should be infused in all vegetarian and vegan products for the masses.
"customers select with their mind yet choose with their heart"
It must have consumers' preference
More products which are wholesome for the consumers are now available, though that doesn't mean that they are on the top of their list. People still choose to indulge themselves with unhealthy food.
If animal-free protein has no preference over animal protein, then despite the benefits, we will not win the consumers' hearts. The question of course is how to win the position of becoming a preferred product. The answer is taste combined with social responsibility: not one or the other, but one and the other. Consumers should never be forced to choose between taste and benefits or taste and social responsibility. They are not in conflict with each other. Focusing on great taste will ensure that animal-free protein will win the hearts of the consumers, and they will be encouraged to make a socially responsible choice. When taste triumphs, the question of choosing between animal-free or animal protein will become a no-brainer and a non-issue.
There must be a sense of urgency
The road to hell is paved with good intentions (Bernard of Clairvaux). Despite the benefits and preference, consumers may still get stuck in a state of inaction. The comfort zone is the worst place for change. We need to ask ourselves if we are stressing the consequences of increasing consumption of animal protein enough? People go to the streets to protest against the government's lack of actions to reduce CO2 emissions. But what about the choice to consume food that contributes to the same CO2 emissions? What will happen if nothing changes? If we can’t answer this question in a convincing way, then why should the consumer be promted to change in the first place? Consumers must be informed about the consequences of a status quo in animal protein consumption. A sense of urgency must be created. We must work together with independent scientists whose integrity is without blemish to provide consumers with reliable information in this regard.