Labelling food products...Great targeting or excluding potential customers?

Vegan food

I came across an interesting online article today about the term '100% plant-based' being preferred over the term 'vegan'.

Why? Two reasons - one because there are negative associations with food classed as vegan, many believing it to be unappetising, and two, because it feels much more inclusive to meat eaters, flexitarians and vegetarians.

So, while it may be great to quickly and easily appeal to the rapidly rising numbers of vegans by clearly labelling it under the term, it doesn't always mean it's best if what you're looking to do is reach a mass audience, and in the case of many vegan food producers, attract meat-reducers, flexitarians etc. By using the term "plant-based", nobody is excluded.

The thing here is to understand not only what connotations there are around labelling (fair or otherwise), but when your niche product is no longer just for a niche market (veganism is quickly changing from a niche product and market in any case - it's rapid rise in this Guardian article is a great marketing case study).

Targeting / segmentation positioning in the market and creating a point of difference is great, but do consider whether you're selling your product exclusively to that particular market segment, or whether you're excluding potential buyers.

You can read the full article in the 'plant-based' Vs 'vegan' terminology here.

On a related, but non-marketing, front - saving / being kind to the bees is receiving some fantastic press at the moment which is great, but did you also know that honey is not vegan? The Vegan Society do not class this as a product, which is cruelty and exploitation-free. Again, if you're interested, you can read about this here.