All G Foods mission to save the planet one plant-based burger at a time
What happened when a plant-based brand showed up at Meatstock? The Drum spoke All G Foods, the Aussie food tech brand with a mission to revolutionise the alternative protein market.
All G Foods plant-based meat brand Buds has built a strong following / All G Foods
Much like the US and Argentina, Australia has a strong meat-eating culture, so how can a plant-based food brand convince meat lovers to try its products?
All G Foods, an Australian-based alternative protein brand, is using cutting-edge technology to create plant-based meat and cellular milk to relieve the pressure that animal agriculture places on the environment.
Led by its plant-based meat brand Love Buds, which includes burgers, mince, sausages, arancini balls, and chicken-free nuggets, the brand aims to position its products as an additional protein option for menu variation that also happens to be cruelty-free and good for the environment.
Since launching in 2021, the brand has quickly amassed a strong following through a strategy of sampling - the brand launched a Love Buds burger food truck during the pandemic to drive trial among consumers - as well as solid partnerships, such as Buds fixture on the menu of Bondi Beach's plant-based diner Flave, among a wealth of others.
However, its presence at Meatstock, a festival dedicated to barbeques and meat - which is also one of the largest food festivals in Australia and New Zealand - was surprising. Perhaps even more surprising was how well the brand was received there.
"Love Buds was the only plant-based brand to attend Meatstock 2022 in Australia with over 50,000 meat-loving Aussies," All G Foods founder & chief executive officer Jan Pacas tells The Drum. "We are pleased to announce that the meat lovers enjoyed our brand - and plant-based meat - so much that we have been invited back this year,' he adds.
The move is typical of the brand's marketing strategy, which aims to position plant-based meats as an additional protein alongside, rather than instead of, meat.
"We are here to compliment a balanced diet, so we do not focus on converting consumers to vegan or vegetarian diets," adds Pacas.
Building a future-focused brand
All G Foods worked with ideas and innovation agency The One Centre to build and create the brand positioning and strategy focused on targeting meat-reducing consumers and flexitarians.
The positioning was built on insights surrounding declining meat consumption in Australia, such as a 2019 survey, which revealed 10 million Australians were eating less red meat. This positioning is critical to the marketing strategy, which sees the brand's products placed side-by-side with meat across menus and retail outlets.
It's a nuanced positioning that aims to drive inclusivity rather than create division, and judging by its invitation to return to Meatstock; it might just be working.
John Ford, CEO & founder of The One Centre, believes that while consumers are more open to the plant-based movement and more conscious of their purchases' environmental and sustainability impact, plant-based brands cannot rely on these drivers.
"Plant-based brands will not thrive just by virtue of having plant-based products; there's going to be emphasis in creativity and marketing for a breakthrough as consumer brands. Brands that succeed in challenging communications and challenging consumer perceptions by elevating it beyond just comparison, but emotional factor will help the category grow and become mainstream."
Ford says brands in this category should focus on novelty, sampling, and creating experiences of the brand to make plant-based a futuristic behaviour. This is evident in the company's next mission: to make its cellular milk product MilkCell cheaper than cow-based dairy over the next few years.
Both Pacas and Ford believe the key ingredients for plant-based brands to succeed are positive messaging around taste and environmental impact.
All G Foods plans to continue to develop positive messaging around the taste and sensory properties of plant-based meat while framing it as an improved, exciting variation of a familiar meat component. The marketing messaging will also continue to focus on positioning plant-based products as healthy, tasty alternatives to existing proteins.
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Targeting Gen Z / Gen Alpha
All G Foods focuses on a strategy of digital marketing and sponsorships to help generate awareness of the brand among key audiences and demographics.
Unsurprisingly, the eco-conscious consumers of Gen Z and Gen Alpha are key targets for the brand, which led to the launch of the "BUDSbassador" program at the University of Sydney festival day. The program works by incentivising customers or "ambassadors" with financial rewards to encourage their favourite cafes and restaurants to stock Love Buds products to financially reward them when introducing them to their favourite eateries.
The brand is also a sponsor of Sydney's men's and women's basketball teams, the Sydney Kings and Sydney Uni Flames, and as part of the deal, the Love Buds Burger patties have been added to the menu at the home stadium, The Qudos Bank Arena, which also hosts a range of sporting and music events.
The brand also focuses on social media and digital strategies to engage consumers, as well as promotions and vouchers to drive trials.
Can plant-based food save the world?
The plant-based foods market is growing rapidly both globally and locally, with forecasts predicting it will be worth $8.3 billion globally by 2025, while local estimates indicate Australasia will see a 570% surge in the retail market for meat substitutes to reach $912m in 2025.
It's positive news for the brand and the planet, according to Pacas, who is passionate about building the whole plant-based foods category to ensure a positive impact on the earth.
"Animal agriculture, particularly meat and dairy, are a massive contributor of harmful emissions to the environment. It is the biggest emitter of harmful emission sources – bigger than the transport and energy industries.
"We know that every 35 years, humans double our protein demands. So, if we were to double meat and dairy from traditional sources in the next 35 years, it would have severe consequences.
"Through our technologies, we can create something that has maybe 2% of the environmental footprint. It uses 2% of the water, 2% of the land, is zero harm to animals and is an absolute game-changer in terms of emissions. Our mission is to be limitlessly good," says Pacas.
Additional reporting by Danielle Long.