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The Pulse of the Marketplace: Introducing the Industry Beat Column

You may have noticed more frequent content being posted here on PULSE as of late. It’s not just a surge in information; it’s a mission in action. We’re committed to delivering daily content that covers every nook and cranny of the dynamic and ever-evolving plant-based marketplace.

We started in 2019 as a single annual trade show in New York City. From there, Plant Based World Expo Europe launched in 2021 in London. But it is not enough to simply connect 2 weeks out of the year… and that’s why we have built Plant Based World Pulse!

As part of our commitment to release relevant, digestible content on a daily basis, we’re unveiling the Industry Beat column—a dedicated space curated by yours truly that takes you beyond the usual industry updates and strategic discussions. It’s your direct line to the pulse of our community, a rhythm that mirrors the passion and ingenuity driving our movement.

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This column is about the stories that go beyond profit margins and market trends. It’s about the entrepreneurs crafting the narrative with their groundbreaking products, the innovators solving real-world challenges, and the collaborations that shape the trajectory of our shared journey.

The beating heart of our community is found in the narratives of individuals who dare to innovate in the plant-based space. It’s the resilience of those who faced adversity and emerged stronger, and the creators of products that redefine our relationship with food.

So, here’s an open invitation to our community across all the diverse and integral roles you play: share your stories, your hurdles, your victories. Whether you’re an entrepreneur with a groundbreaking product, a visionary building key partnerships, or someone with a journey that encapsulates the spirit of the plant-based movement, we want to hear from you. The Industry Beat is where the business side of plant-based meets the heart and soul of purpose and community.

If you have a story that deserves to be heard, shoot me an email and let’s talk! Connect with me at [email protected].

The Industry Beat: A Growth Journey with Plant Based World Expo Europe

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As we gather for the third annual Plant Based World Expo Europe at London’s grand ExCel Center this week, it is amazing to reflect on the journey that has brought us to this moment. Looking back, it’s evident that this event symbolizes the tremendous growth in the market for plant-based food, not just locally, but globally. Our evolution mirrors the burgeoning interest in plant-based options, and as we set foot in ExCel London, we realize we’ve come a long way.

Our journey wasn’t without its challenges. The initial launch in 2020 was postponed due to the turbulent environment caused by unforeseen circumstances. The following year, in 2021, we officially launched at the Business Design Centre in London, a modest yet promising beginning. That’s where our vision took root and started to grow.

In 2022, our event had outgrown its initial venue, marking a significant turning point. We stepped into the Olympia Convention Center, and it was a proud moment for us as more prominent food manufacturers and buyers began to recognize the importance of attending the event and engaging with the plant-based marketplace. We’ve now graduated to London’s most substantial event space, ExCel, for our 3rd annual trade show. Here, we have ample room to stretch our legs and serve the industry for years to come.

Our success reflects the rising consumer demand for plant-based options worldwide. Over a thousand “Hosted Buyer” meetings are scheduled, testament to the excitement of food buyers in retail and foodservice keen to embrace these products. The extensive conference program speaks volumes about the eagerness of industry thought leaders to come together, discuss challenges, seize opportunities, and collaborate on innovative solutions. The Plant-Based Taste Awards program showcases a plethora of mouthwatering products across a diversity of categories, offering retailers and restaurants a first look at the highest quality products the market has to offer.

But, what sets the Plant Based World Expo Europe apart isn’t just being another B2B trade show. We’re on a mission, committed to elevating the marketplace for plant-based foods as part of an effort towards a more sustainable and healthy world for all beings. Across the world the connection between our food choices and the health of the planet is becoming more widely accepted and appreciated. The recent decision by the United Nations to introduce a plant-forward menu at its COP28 event underscores the recognition of this profound link and indicates global governments are eager to bring this conversation to the forefront and be a part of the solution. We believe this trend is still in its infancy on a grand scale as we welcome all industry stakeholders to gather in person once again.

We extend our sincere gratitude to all who have supported the growth of Plant Based World Expo Europe since our launch in 2021. To all those who have sponsored, spoke, attended or engaged with the event in any way – your participation is a profound reflection of a global trend towards plant-forward eating. As we return to this grand stage for the third time, we stand united with the industry, ready to support the growth of this marketplace and be an integral part of this cultural movement. We’re excited about the journey that lies ahead and the positive impact we can make.

The Industry Beat: Health Is the New Wealth

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Greetings, marketplace game changers! It’s your trusted guide, Benjamin Davis, here to delve into the fascinating world and business of plant-based cuisine. Today, we’re exploring a profound shift that’s taking place in the food industry—a shift towards health and mindfulness.

If you’ve been keeping your finger on the pulse of the plant-based food scene, you’ve likely noticed a remarkable transformation. It’s not merely a passing trend; it’s a movement—an awakening to the power of conscious eating that’s reshaping how we view food.

The Mindful Bite

We’ve long understood the critical link between our diets and our well-being. However, a new player has entered the arena: mindfulness. This is no ordinary wellness fad; it’s a paradigm shift in how we relate to our food.

This concept was amplified in September at Plant Based World Expo North America in New York City, where the theme of “mindful innovation” was front and center. Mindfulness and innovation expert, author Matt Mueller, presented a dynamic opening keynote on the topic and inspired deeper thought into how mindfulness intersects with the plant-based food marketplace.

Mindfulness isn’t about esoteric practices or abstract concepts. It’s about the simple act of being fully present. When we eat this means savoring each bite, and appreciating the nourishment that sustains us. It’s about recognizing the profound implications of our dietary choices for our bodies and the planet.

This mindful revolution isn’t confined to our dining tables; it’s permeating the corporate world as well. Companies are awakening to the transformative potential of mindfulness in the workplace. By fostering a culture of well-being and presence, they’re empowering their employees to perform at their peak.

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Innovation Meets Mindfulness

Now, let’s draw the connections. As health-conscious consumers increasingly seek cleaner, more nourishing options, they’re driving demand for plant-based products that align with their values. This is where innovation comes into play.

Forward-thinking companies are seizing the opportunity to incorporate mindfulness into their innovation processes. By cultivating a deep understanding of what health-conscious consumers truly desire, these companies are crafting plant-based masterpieces that not only tantalize the taste buds but also nourish the body.

A Practical Step Forward

So, how can businesses embody health and mindfulness in their innovation efforts? Here’s a practical step: the weekly team meditation. Imagine this—a group exercise where your team envisions themselves as a health-conscious shopper walking into a grocery store.

Feel the emotions, the aspirations, and the experiences of this character. As they walk up to the shelf and approach your company’s product, what is going through their head. What excites them about your packaging, about your ingredient list? What concerns them? Be brutally honest here, it is essential to witness yourself from all angles, even when you are not perfect. This is the essence of mindfulness. Witnessing yourself and evaluating for the sake of self-awareness rather than criticism creates massive space for growth and improvement.

Allow these insights to guide your team towards a profound understanding of what this customer truly needs and how your products can serve them better.

A Delicious and Mindful Future

As we stand at the precipice of a food system revolution, it’s clear that health is the new wealth. Mindfulness, both in our personal lives and corporate endeavors, is driving a profound shift in the way we approach food. The opportunity has never been greater for companies that dare to innovate mindfully, offering delectable, world-changing foods that resonate with an ever-growing audience of health-conscious eaters.