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Some day soon, wienerschnitzel may become as controversial as foie gras in German restaurants, as veganism has taken hold in the traditionally meat-loving locale. Let’s take a look at the social media analytics behind what’s happening and why CPGs, restaurants and retailers need to take note!

Oktoberfest Of Tomorrow

It may sound unlikely that the lands of the beer-loving, meat-eating Oktoberfest revelers are headed toward a plant-based diet, but going vegan is so hot right now, like Hansel in Zoolander, and it’s a trend that isn’t slowing down.

Why? There are a few contributing factors, none of which seem to revolve around how they fit into their lederhosen: “There are a number of factors driving the increasing intake of plant-based foods . . . 50% of all German consumers believe that plant and animal proteins are equally nutritious and 17% think that plant protein tastes better.”

vegangotgame. Amazing crispy vegan raviolis with mushrooms and spinach

Tastes better? Absolutely, as a sampling of sentiment from Netbase Pro shows us:

Vegan food is the best. Germans love it, possibly more than they love David Hasselhoff, but don’t quote us on that. It’s delicious, amazing and the best – this much we know for sure.

So, the Oktoberfest celebrations of tomorrow will need to make some accommodations, as will its suppliers, when considering new products to develop in the very near future. Using social media listening tools, CPGs, restaurants and retailers can identify adjacencies to help sort out which direction to pursue, as there are more than a few niche areas to discover in this world of soy and almonds.

Move Over Vegetarians, It’s The Flexitarians

One reason for the rising trend is a corresponding accepted flexibility around it. Being a strict vegan isn’t necessary to be part of the club, so more kids (and adults) are doing it. “This expanding vegan and vegetarian market does not necessarily mean people are turning away from meat, but many are merely including more of these foods in their diet.” And it’s called ‘flexitarianism’, with consumers “not giving up meat; they are making room for more vegan products as part of flexitarian dieting, opening opportunities for plant-based food and drink innovation. Moreover, the rapid growth of vegan products in Germany also reflects the rise of ethical consumerism, especially among younger consumers.”

They want to be ethical consumers, don’t we all? But Germans are putting their money where their mouth is, literally. According to Plant Based News, in Germany “the total number of global vegan food launches has more than doubled in the past five years, growing by 175 percent from July 2013 to June 2018, with five percent of all food and drink products released in this time being vegan, and 11 percent vegetarian. German launches have bucked the global trend – with vegan claims appearing almost twice as frequently as vegetarian ones: 14 percent of all food and drink launches appearing on the market between July 2017 and June 2018 carried vegan claims, with only eight percent vegetarian.”

So, businesses are already taking note of this expanding market and zeroing in – and it’s ripe for further innovative ideas to take hold. The demographic picture is promising, with both males and females spanning most age ranges interested in vegan options – and we know they’re very likely flexible about their options.

But how to find them? And then how do you connect with them? A healthy marketing team helps.

Is Your Organization’s Gut Healthy?

Everyone is more health conscious these days, seeking options that aren’t merely abundantly lecker (delicious), but good for your gut too.

A “gut check” doesn’t just apply to your body’s digestion though – you need to perform regular gut checks with your marketing as well. If your campaigns aren’t resonating with your audience, they can throw your whole organization out of whack. Your pipeline will sputter, your digestion (of leads) will become a slow, painful process and your organs with start to shut down. And marketing is always the first to get cut away.

Influencers abound in every niche you can hope for, and veganism is no different. We see a large part of the conversation happening on Instagram, which makes sense for food posts. And the conversations Instagram influencers have with followers generate exceptional, authentic exposure for any brand:

And these influencers are attractive to online participants – your target segment, not only for their food choices, but for other life choices as well.

So, if you’re a retailer selling environment-friendly anythings, which relate to the worldview of a vegan lifestyle, it’s an adjacency to explore and consider. And it’s one of many that you discover once you dive in to the social media sentiment available in a robust, yet nuanced tool!

We enjoy demonstrating use cases that highlight how NetBase uncovers these adjacencies. Reach out and we’ll schedule one specifically for you!

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