Testing a new concept: Plenty! the artisanal, plant-based specialty shop

Client:

Friek van Helden, FoodHelden 

Brief:

The client was at the early stages of developping the concept for Plenty! and wanted to validate her assumptions.

We were asked to learn whether her intended target audience was indeed the most fitting for this concept, to what extent they found it appealing, and how the concept could be strengthened.  

By testing her concept at such an early stage, she could show to potential investors at her upcoming pitch that her idea was validated and improved on the basis of consumer feedback. 

Our approach:

We designed a series of activities in our online Food Forum, in which participants could express their wishes and needs in relation to eating less meat. In particular, we looked at the role that healthy and tasty meat-alternatives can play, and in which ways a specialty shop can fill the “meat gap”. 

We also looked at whether this new concept is clear, and perceived as innovative and different enough from what already exists on the market. The overall appeal, strengths and weaknesses, and willingness to visit this shop (and under which conditions) were also discussed. Finally, we also tested the name, and whether participants believe it fits the concept. 

Findings in a nutshell:

Altogether, the concept of Plenty! is clear and appealing. Particularly the fact that it would be a completely plant-based shop, and that it aims to fulfill both the health and sustainability wishes of its clients. 

Participants absolutely see a need to better meat-replacements, including ones that are less processed, and have a less “chemical flavour”. This is where Plenty! can really make a difference.

However participants showed concern about the pricepoint of this shop, and expressed worry about the present increase in prices in the normal supermarkets, let alone specialty-shops. 

Finally, the name Plenty! brought up different associations that the name is intended to. 

Feedback on our work:

“The online panel of Future of Food Institute helped me to identify the potential of the concept and to understand the drivers and barriers behind it. It strengthened the pitch I gave about the concept within the Food Forward Track organised by Rabobank. It gave good insights on what we need to improve on the concept to make it even more successfull. It was pleasant to follow the answers and interactions of the respondents within the community as a silent observer. It’s clear that they really feel safe within the community to answer openly.” 

– Friek van Helden, Concept Owner

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