Plant-based ads aren't just for Veganuary | Clear Channel

Plant-based advertising isn’t just for Veganuary...

02 Jan 2023 / Insights
By Clear Channel UK View Author on Twitter
Flora plant butter advert on Adshel Live poster on high street

Consumers are more health conscious than ever and it’s no surprise that the UK vegan market is seeing huge growth. In 2022, we witnessed a rise in brands using the power of Out of Home as a recipe for success; delivering trusted, standout messaging to reach and influence those switching to Veganuary and beyond.

By Colin Horan, Strategic Partner, FMCG

The growth of Vegan or Plant-Based eating has been steadily on the rise since the introduction of Veganuary back in 2014, with the UK vegan population increasing to four times its original size in the first 5 years. Consumers are now well versed in both the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet, and whilst going 100% vegan might be a stretch too far for some, the rise of the flexitarian diet continues to grow the market, and as many as 51% of meat-eating Brits now willing to replace some of their meat consumption with like-for-like plant-based alternatives. 

Veganuary provides an opportunity to attract more consumers into this growing market. It also gives a platform for brands to align themselves with this valuable audience or launch their latest plant-based alternative.  But the opportunity lives way beyond the month of January, and Out of Home (OOH) has swiftly become a go-to channel for plant-based brands to deliver their message to the masses year-long.  I’ve highlighted three ways I think brands can use OOH to grow in 2023. 

Reach all potential buyers…

If you buy into Byron Sharp’s theory, then sales growth typically comes from light-category buyers, and the plant-based category is no exception. Whilst the Vegan population has certainly grown, it still only represents around 2-3% of UK consumers. However, a whopping 63.5% of Brits bought plant-based food items in 2021. 

OOH’s superpower is its ability to reach the masses, as a broadcast channel that can deliver strong brand messages. With mass awareness (or fame), your brand is familiar to more people, and therefore more likely to be considered in buying situations. It’s crucial for brands to consider channels which can reach all potential buyers, such as OOH. McDonalds’ 2022 campaign for the launch of their McPlant took this approach to the extreme, taking a multi-format approach which included iconic formats such as The Cromination to create a truly unmissable campaign. 

Mcdonalds advert on huge Cromination poster on main road

Drive action…

Alongside the power of brand building, it’s important for advertisers to capitalise on any demand generation to nudge consumers into making a purchase. Driving action comes down to three things - the right LOCATION, the right MOMENT and the right MESSAGE, and the evolution of Out of Home as a data-driven digital channel makes delivering these types of activation campaigns easier than ever. 

Planning in proximity to point of purchase is the first step, either at the point of sale outside a major supermarket or perhaps in walking distance of a local store. 

Next is to consider using the flexibility of Digital OOH to deliver your message at the right moment, perhaps on a weekday lunchtime, or even by using a relevant data trigger dynamically or even programmatically, such as the weather or search trends. 

Finally, make sure your creative is designed to nudge action. Brands do this currently by making it as easy as possible for consumers to act on their message or call to action. A common way is to add a call-out and directions to the nearest store where the product is available. We’re also seeing brands trial the use of QR codes as a way to drive trial through couponing. 

Cauldron Foods advert on Asda Live poster

Build trust…

For many, purchasing a plant-based alternative means they’re buying a product or brand they haven’t bought before. The category has welcomed a plethora of new challenger brands into the market, each competing for shelf space and consumer consideration against the NPDs from the well-known behemoths. 37% choose a plant-based diet because it’s a more sustainable choice, but there are many other factors which affect decision-making that brands still must overcome, such as quality, value and trust. 

Clear Channel’s latest audience in-focus study revealed that as many as 80% of main shoppers think that trust is important when making decisions about the brands they buy. Public broadcast channels, such as OOH, are perceived to be significantly more trustworthy than using private channels. It’s because you’re essentially making a public declaration about what your brand stands for. If consumers trust your brand, then they’re more likely to take a chance on it. 

Additionally, for those brands leaning into the sustainability message, they’ll want to ensure that their media choices reflect their values. Printing posters using recycled paper or opting for digital screens which are powered by renewable energy (such as Adshel Live) are a couple of ways in which brands can easily reduce the impact of their advertising, and increase trust levels with the consumer.

Sources: Appino.

If you’re planning a campaign, or just interested in discovering more on how your brand can get the most from Out of Home this year, please get in touch using the form below. 

Hellmann's advert on Adshel Live poster on high street