The market for food innovation is booming – With 26bn USD in 2020 allocated along the entire value chain of AgriFoodTech investments are at an all-time high paving the way for a transformation of the food system.
Impossible Foods and Oatly are among the plant-based’s avant-gardists of a go-to-market strategy we labelled “Gastronomy First”.
By carefully selecting suitable culinary experts (chefs or baristas), locations and distributors to create a positive consumption experience for their target end consumers, they are able to build a strong demand for their innovative product in Food Service before approaching retail for listings.
The chances for new brands to directly address the retail sector and stay there are rather slim, as shelf space is limited, and competition is strong - While the gastronomy only allows for occasional buying by end consumers it can create the momentum to assure regular buying once the product or brand hits the retail shelf.
Chefs are the celebrities of the food industry with a strong signaling power always looking for opportunities to offer new experiences
to their customers. In their role they can serve as the quality gate keepers, managers of first impressions, “skillfluencers”, storytellers and sparring partners. Their culinary credibility together with the authentic atmosphere of their establishment, the trust, that consumers have
in them, is transferred to the product’s brand creating the demand for home consumption.
Beyond securing a good first impression for the end consumer and showcasing versatility, entering
the market via the gastronomy also allows for a more flexible pricing and building stable operations.
For the chef, food innovations offer the opportunities to gain an edge over competition and satisfy changing consumer demands while
gaining additional revenues with new products drawing new customers to the restaurant.
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