How This changed the plant-based food landscape to engage new audiences

By Awards Analyst | The Drum Awards

June 17, 2022 | 3 min read

The Drum Awards for Marketing 2022 Emerging Brand of the Year went to meat alternative company This. Here, we find out how its multi-channel ’This Changes Everything’ campaign engaged a new audience with plant-based food.

The brief

55% of British consumers are reducing their meat consumption. However, many feel that plant-based brands don’t speak to them from a branding perspective.

The opportunity here was to create a plant-based company that speaks to the meat reducer with a product range that is so hyper-realistic it can fool hardcore meat-eaters into thinking it is animal-based. That meant creating high-quality products that replicate meat in taste, texture and versatility, without any of its downsides.

The idea

This wanted to lead Europe’s transition to plant-based food through clever innovation and funny communications.

A large team of developers and scientists researched new methods of plant-based protein development. Original manufacturing techniques and ingredients were used to recreate the same tastes and textures of meat.

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To build brand love, This harnessed funny communications, with stunts including ‘sponsoring‘ the Leicestershire town of Quorn and tricking an entire Italian food show into thinking its products were artisan Italian meat produce. These video stunts averaged around 100,000 views each time.

It was vital to get the public to try This’s products and drive conversion in-store, which involved running nationwide in-store sampling campaigns during key occasions, beginning with Veganuary. This also drove distribution across both food services and retail, as food service partnerships have become an important vehicle for driving brand awareness.

The results

This expanded its range with seven new products in the last year while also renovating its existing range. 96% of customers said that they prefer This to real meat.

This’s distribution increased across all the major retailers, to over 9,500 outlets across the UK, and saw a positive uptake on its new products. This also became one of the fastest-growing food brands in the UK and is experiencing year-on-year growth of 333%. On top of that, a recent crowdfund via Seedrs was the fastest ever FMCG crowdfund.

This saw a rise in brand awareness and brand love. A combined score on awareness and brand love versus Richmond shows that while Richmond has more awareness (63% v 13%), This’s love is four times bigger (75% v 18%).

The brand grew its Instagram following to over 110,000. It also managed to fool over 7,000 people on camera into thinking its products were meat. As a result, This has the highest engaged following of any plant-based brand and double the standard industry engagement rate.

This was a winner at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2022. You can see all the winners here.

And check out which of The Drum Awards are currently open for entry.

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