The surge in flexitarian eaters has given Quorn's rivals something to chew on

 
Stephan Shakespeare
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Health Group Demands Quorn Be Recalled
Quorn produces vegetarian alternatives to meat (Source: Getty)

Quorn Foods, the company that produces meat substitute products, on Monday announced ‘unprecedented’ global growth for the first half of this year with global sales rising by 19 per cent.

One reason the brand has offered for this impressive jump is the growing popularity of the ‘flexitarian’ diet – namely, people reducing meat consumption in favour of other sustainable protein sources.

YouGov data certainly backs up the general theory that people are becoming more inclined to look to such alternatives in their diets.

Back in April, our meat and poultry report showed that over half (56 per cent) of British consumers say they don’t need meat to have a good meal.

Read more: Quorn Foods sold by Exponent Private Equity

The study also indicated that of those that are eating less meat, a third (32 per cent) say it is directly due to them trying out more vegetarian meals.

In terms of brand perception, Quorn has experienced an upturn in recent years. Its overall impression score (whether someone has a positive impression of the brand) has grown from six in July 2012 to 15 now.

Read more: Pret a Manger is targeting the City for its second veggie pop-up branch

This change in impression score may well have something to do with its strong marketing campaign.

The company replaced long-time Quorn Foods promoter Mo Farah with other sports stars such as Olympic swimming champion Adam Peaty, who features in one of its recent large scale advertising efforts.

Its ad awareness score (whether someone has seen an advert for the brand in the last two weeks) grew from seven to 18 between early January to the start of March.

But it isn’t just a case of being noticed; over the past year consumers’ view of the brand’s quality has also improved.

Quorn’s quality score is now 16, four points higher than it showed 12 months ago.

All of this has culminated in an increase in the percentage of people who say they would consider purchasing one of the brand’s products.

Quorn’s purchase consideration score reached a high of 24 in late June, up six points from the same point in 2016.

So while it may be true to suggest consumers’ habits are altering, Quorn Foods has been able to position itself effectively in order to capitalise.

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