The food sector in the UK is evolving rapidly. In the 6 months to March 2017, 28% of UK consumers consciously reduced or limited the amount of meat in their diets and this trend is continuing. A new term, flexitarian, has been born – those that aren’t vegetarian, but aim to reduce meat in their diets, mostly for health reasons.
But it’s a nuanced trend, when you unpick some of the research, consumers are also still seeing meat as a good source of unprocessed protein, in its primary state. This sense of unprocessed, is something that not all of the vegetarian brands and products can claim clearly.
Enter a new market player – Tofoo Co. – Founder, David Knibbs, had spotted an opportunity for a new, natural and healthy, protein high product to enter the market. The tofu market to date was still the realm of whole food brands and organic shops predominantly and those that were around weren’t quite hitting the mark in terms of taste in David’s eyes.
“Tofu needed a champion, someone for whom the No 1 priority was developing the best tasting tofu and then starting a mission to make tofu a product all can enjoy. Going back to Far Eastern principles we make our handmade tofu using Nigari to form curds, it delivers a firmer better tasting tofu that’s great in any dish” – David Knibbs – Founder
Tofoo Co. asked us to help them shape the future of their product line and brand strategy through insight from the market and customers.
The Tofoo Co. had made great in-roads into the meat-free and vegan marketplace in the 24 months it had existed, moving from 10,000 packs per week to 100,000 but the opportunity was there to grow further.
Working with the team at Tofoo Co., we conducted a multi-round consumer research programme to explore potential consumers and existing customers views on developing trends in the meat free and flexitarian market. Examining shopping habits in-store, brand awareness and consideration, eating habits and brand positioning with particular focusses around health & wellbeing and processing perceptions.
In support of the market research a number of in-store accompanied shops took place across the UK, to help us shape the insight around in-store behaviour and consumer understanding.
In addition to the market research, the focus groups conducted a series of product testing sessions to explore potential new products for future development strategy.
This activity provided a wealth of insight and consumer led views to help Tofoo Co. to shape their next 2-5 years brand and product development programme based on genuine customer and non-customer views.
This insight includes packaging advice about visual cues, target audience focus, product development prioritisation/strategy and market and retail trends.
All together creating an invaluable asset when competing in a market that is growing and evolving by the month.
“Getting close to consumers, understanding how they feel about the market, our Brand, discuss what they want to be able to eat in the future are all vital building blocks in developing Tofoo Co in to a brand that can meet our mission of “Tofoo for all”. The research has helped refine the direction and with well tested market concepts we are already seeing very positive responses from the trade in terms of listings for 2019”. – David Knibbs – Founder
Speak to us today about how we can help you shape the future of your brand or product line strategy.