Plant-based Food Conversation Captured Using Social Analytics

Kimberly Surico |
 09/19/19 |
4 min read

Plant-based Food Conversation Captured Using Social Analytics

Plant-based foods are on the menu and a hot topic online, dominating category conversation of late. What does social analytics reveal about this top trend? Lots of delicious AI-powered insight that every food, retail and consumer product brand manager will want to chew on.

Impossible Foods Made Possible

Years ago, biting in to a veggie burger was obvious. There was a distinct “meat” flavor that was missing, one that was impossible to replicate.

But now Impossible Foods has done just that and, in the process, kicked off a plant-based food feud between quick serve restaurants worldwide. (We’ll get to that part in a bit.)

For now, it’s important to note that the attraction to plant-based food is palpable online:

the attraction to plant-based food is palpable online

Beyond Impossible Foods, which has become the ‘go to’ for many of the meat-like product launches we see lately, there are non-GMO options that have served as staples for the uber-organic crowd for years now.

Uber-organic Plant-based Options

One is Amy’s Kitchen. Its organic burger looks less likely to taste meaty (on a scale of ‘traditional veggie to Impossible Burger’) . . .

Amys Kitchen organic burger looks less likely to taste meaty

but its audience expresses a specific set of needs that makes a meat-taste secondary. They’re left feeling “so paranoid” about some food and do not want “bioengineered options:”

Plant based organic audience segment expresses a specific set of needs that makes a meat-taste secondary

And some just don’t want the plant-based food tasting like meat.

But enough do to drive demand for the products. So Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat will live to see many more days thanks to vegans’ somewhat supportive friends. And that leads to opportunities in other options, like in-home delivery.

Plant-based Food Delivery

Eating healthy sounds and tastes amazing to many, but who has the time? And this is where Veestro seeks to fill a niche need.

Veestro fills a niche need with plant based food delivery

There are so many people having food delivered these days, so providing a plant-based plan-ahead option makes sense.

And the plant-based folks’ indexed interests appear to support it. See how small “shopping” is? It doesn’t even have room for the word. These folks could be ordering food! There’s potential there.

plant based folks indexed interests support food delivery

But it’s always good to explore beyond surface hunches to be sure.

Veestro, for example, could use this intel to create marketing for those who struggle with shopping for vegan options, for whatever reasons. Finding out those precise reasons would be key to the strategy (and something we helps folks learn how to research using social analytics).

What This Means for Brands

Brands should very much want to understand the behaviors these consumers are exhibiting. And should create messaging that speaks more authentically to vegan consumers’ needs and that of their occasionally vegan friends.

Exploring sentiment drivers in a “behaviors” word cloud offers a world of actionable insight. It all depends on what’s authentic to your brand’s mission/messaging, of course. A brand may use this audience insight to ask:

  • Why are they wanting to switch to a vegan diet? Can find ways to help ease that transition.
  • What makes them not want plant-based food? Can explore unmet needs/barriers to adoption.
  • Who do they recommend? And why? To inform your own offering and do things better.
  • What are they buying? Or not able to afford, but really want? Are there different packaging options to make smaller portions more economically viable?

Exploring sentiment drivers in a behaviors word cloud offers a world of actionable insight

This is all information that consumers are freely sharing online, along with the answers. And it can be uncovered with a little digging.

What are people saying about your brand and its commitment to plant-based food, for example? This isn’t very difficult to find out when you’re using the right tool:

Exploring what people are saying about your brand and its commitment to plant based food

Overall though, the online conversation offers a strong indication that any food industry participant may want to sort out ways to adapt to plant-based foods. Interest in it is growing.

And, surprisingly, foods that are traditionally thought of less healthy options are leading the plant-based food train. Their efforts are impressive from both an industry and a consumer awareness standpoint.

Plant-based Food Conversation in Quick Serve

There’s certainly a lot of conversation happening in the quick serve sector – and not just about its chicken sandwiches.

Suppliers are all hopping on plant-based food bandwagon. We see Burger King offering the Impossible Whopper. And KFC coming out with its plant-based chicken:

KFCs plant based chickenMcDonalds potentially lagging behind, with meatless options internationally, but nothing in the states to date.

But they’re all capturing significant conversation around the offerings – with consumers loving, hating and wanting more all around:

Brands capturing significant conversation around plant-based offerings

But the conversation doesn’t end there – or at least, it doesn’t have to.

AI-created Themes

Automatically created conversation themes, captured by artificial intelligence that powers AI Studio, offers additional angles for brands to pursue. And an early warning around potential trouble spots that could impact a brand’s campaign – or entire company:

Automatically created conversation themes from AI Studio

For example, brands interested in the plant-based food space may want to pursue some of the themes offered above.

Exploring the connection between veganism and climate change could be one avenue for progressively oriented organizations:

Exploring the connection between veganism and climate change

Potentially going on the attack or shining a light on counter-arguments is another way in to the plant-based conversation. This, of course, depends on a brand’s established persona and level of social media sophistication (to handle such a tricky series of interactions).

Shining a light on counter-arguments is another way in to the plant based conversation revealed by AI Studio

Or maybe a brand isn’t looking to dive in quite so deeply and is searching for less of a commitment. A way to test the waters by way of a plant-based side dish perhaps?

plant-based side dish ideas uncovered by AI Studio

There are so many companies, potential customers and online curiosities to distract top brand marketers as they sort out which areas on social to search. Having automatically created themes helps keep your strategic planning focused and moving along. And it’s getting smarter all the time (the next generation AI platform).

Reach out and we’ll show you how it works and why your brand will do so much more with AI on its side.

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