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Are Some Plant-Based Brands Posers?

The plant-based revolution is spreading! We’ve been reading and writing a lot about plant-based food and meat. From plant-based milk to plant-based cheeseburgers, the health-conscious consumer has a lot of alternatives to traditional animal-based products when it comes to food. And now the plant-based craze is starting to bleed over into other products, like plant-based laundry detergent, cleaning products and “paper” plates. But our quantitative tool for measuring a brand’s Irresistibility to consumers tells us these products seem to be struggling to connect.

The question is why? And we suspect we know the answer. While the plant-based food companies have always been focused on the health-conscious consumer, some of the more mainstream brands that are just now making the move into plant-based products have never targeted this group before.

Let’s take a look at one of the most mainstream brands of all, Tide. Tide’s plant-based product is Tide purclean. It is 75% USDA certified plant-based detergent, but still has the “cleaning power of Tide”. It is made with 100% renewable wind power and is made at a site that sends zero manufacturing waste to a landfill. It reinforces Tide’s “journey to sustainability and delivers a more sustainable product that does not compromise on cleaning performance”, but their messaging doesn’t seem to be resonating. They are mixing in plant-based points with their regular messaging and are targeting a very broad audience, many of whom may not care. With an I-Factor score of 32, Tide has some work to do to make meaningful connections with consumers.

On the other hand, Method makes a plant-based laundry detergent, and it puts plant-based first. All of Method’s products are “planet-friendly cleaning products” and their whole website is upfront about making the world a “cleaner, greener, and more colorful place”. This message is definitely resonating with consumers. Its I-Factor score is 40, showing that Method’s connection with their consumers is stronger and more Irresistible than Tide, even though there are reports that Method doesn’t get your clothes as clean as Tide. Consumers are still buying the products because the message is right for their audience.

But it’s not just laundry detergent, there are a ton of household cleaning products like those from Method, Better Life, and Mrs. Meyer’s that are attracting health-conscious consumers to plant-based products in other parts of their lives. Another example is Pure Palm’s upscale, planet-friendly plates. They are 100% sustainable and harvested from fallen palm leaves. They are compostable, biodegradable, cleaned, and steam-treated leaves. For a 25 pack of plates, the cost is $19.95, compared to Dixie paper plates, which you can get 250 for the same price. That is 10 times the price. The question remains, will Pure Palm’s offering be worth the very hefty price tag?

What can your brand learn from these brands who are pushing into new territory? Our tool
I-Factor® can help you get the most compelling data and insights to connect with the most on-target audience. With I-Factor we talk directly to consumers who are interested in sustainable products to quickly and inexpensively deliver quantifiable data and insights that unlock the consumer subconscious to find the why behind the buy. It can predict success in specific markets, helping with both sales and distribution.

Want to learn more? Let’s talk.

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