At its investors' call discussing Q2 earnings, Beyond Meat founder, President, and CEO Ethan Brown stressed the importance of increased marketing investments in the company’s attempts to rebound from a 30.5% decline in net revenue year-over-year, with such marketing touting the brand’s “strong health credentials” to counter consumer perceptions around the category.
“As was the case during the ascent of plant-based milk -- this change in perception is not without encouragement from interest groups who have succeeded in seeding doubt and fear around the ingredients and process used to create our and other plant-based meats,” he said.
That marketing took shape earlier this month with the launch of the initial phase of Beyond Meat’s “There’s Goodness Here” campaign.
The debut hero ad for the campaign focuses on the process behind Beyond Meat’s products, while also pointing to the environmental benefits of plant-based protein, and the health bonafides of its steak offering.
CPG Insider spoke with Beyond Meat Senior Vice President of Global Marketing Akerho "AK" Oghoghomeh about how the brand hopes to tell its story.
What were the origins of the “There’s Goodness Here” campaign?
“There’s Goodness Here” has an interesting story. I started at Beyond Meat around five months ago, and some of our initial conversations were about finding ways to demystify the process for consumers. Consumers had these ideas that our products were ultra-processed, and we recognized an opportunity to help consumers understand where the products were coming from.
So we wanted to go and speak to the farmers we source from, to understand where our ingredients come from and the people growing the crops that turn into our products. As we got to better know these farmers, we recognized that at every stage of the process -- from the moment the seed is planted to the moment you take a bite of our product -- goodness is created.
Is it fair to say that, in part, the campaign is aimed at addressing all the issues around brand and category perceptions?
We’re not necessarily addressing the noise head-on, but rather sharing our narrative and telling our story -- instead of letting others tell it for us. Prior to joining Beyond Meat, I didn’t notice this narrative developing. Then the day I signed my letter of intent, two news stories about Beyond Meat in particular came out. Over the next few months, we saw chatter on social media, and recognized there was an opportunity for us to educate consumers and help them understand where the products are coming from.
Through consumer research we found that a primary driver for plant-based meats’ perception is health. When we inquired further into what consumers meant by that, they said they’re concerned about things like clean ingredients and less processing – and we realized there was a significant gap between our products and the perceptions around our products.
Why do you think Beyond Meat was singled out in some of the negative reporting that impacted the category more broadly?
As a category leader, and the only publicly traded dedicated plant-based
meat company, we understand that a lion’s share of the spotlight is directed at us. This creates a great opportunity to get our narrative out there in a bigger way and help consumers understand
the benefits of our brand, and the category more broadly.
What went into developing this campaign, and what can you share about its future evolution?
We’re proud to say this campaign was home-grown by our own internal marketing team, inspired by the pride we all feel in the work Beyond Meat is doing to benefit our consumers, the planet and animals. We want to bring that story to life for consumers in a bigger way, and will do so with a multi-phased campaign that’s focused on demystifying our process.
This campaign will be complemented by additional product-focused campaigns that lead with taste as we work to re energize existing fans and invite new fans into the brand. Another piece of creative will launch in the month or so, and the third phase will launch in Q1 of next year.
Can you speak to some of the benefits of efforts such as this being developed internally? To what extent will external partners also be part of Beyond Meat’s marketing strategy?
We’re leveraging a hybrid approach to our marketing efforts which we think is going to maximize our results. We have an incredible internal team, but are also working with smart, creative and nimble external partners to help scale our efforts.