Why Introducing Vegan Chocolate Has Become Easy - Guest Feature with LoveRaw
In the past, arguably a lack of great tasting and more mainstream brands, made vegan chocolate a poor relation within the confectionery category. However, with the rapidly growing plant based confectionery category, disruptor brands such as LoveRaw are allowing retailers to tap in to this new market. Liam Mahoney Head of Convenience and International @ LoveRaw explains just how their brand has achieved this.
So what is the brand about? LoveRaw is an innovative, vegan confectionary brand disrupting the vegan snacking category. We are on a mission to create legendary vegan chocolate that tastes like conventional chocolate; using superior ingredients and without compromising on taste.
Demand for Vegan Suitable Confectionery is Sustained
"The vegan snacking category has grown significantly over the past 12 months. Even with COVID as a backdrop to 2020, the category has been able to cut through downturn in trade and really harvest sales from shoppers across multiple channels. There are several factors underpinning its growth, notwithstanding the rise of internet shopping and savvy marketing campaigns from brands, there is a tailwind of innovation from key brands in the category, an influx of new consumers - both vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian - there are also more retailers stocking these products, increasing the availability and accessibility of vegan snacks.
We’re more than just a vegan chocolate snacking brand, we’re making vegan chocolate taste great and we’re on a mission to make it more accessible and mainstream. Our latest product, Cre&m Wafer Bar, tastes just like a classic, well known heritage chocolate bar in the UK and offers a vegan alternative to this much-loved classic.
Consumers like familiarity and this product has certainly brought more shoppers to our brand and raised the profile of LoveRaw. We want to offer a point of difference in the category, be strategic with our new product development and we have a clear category focus on where the brand should be positioned in independent retailing.
Retail Opportunities with Veganuary
We’re kicking the year off with Veganuary which is a halo event for the category and gives great momentum for the year ahead. Our brand strategy will then be to target key milestone events throughout the year with some great additional surprises of our own happening throughout the year to engage with our shopper and entice new consumers to the brand.
A key market driver for the growth of the category is the growing trend of vegan diets. Vegan snacking presents a huge opportunity for retailers and we are seeing around 47% of shoppers looking for more functional snacks. These shoppers also spend more and shop more frequently which is great news for retailers. 77% of shoppers want a balance between indulgence and nutrition and these behaviours correlate to both in-store and online shopping activity".
The category is gaining significant traction within retail as operators cater for the rising demand of vegan snacks from their customers. We are seeing more retailers really get behind brands in this space and offer diversity in their range while also signposting the category in store, giving it added focus. There is also huge growth in flexitarian consumers entering the category which increases the size of the opportunity for retailers in 2021.