COVID-19 challenges fail to stifle success for Made With Plants

COVID-19 challenges fail to stifle success for Made With Plants

An Australian vegan brand has found success on the shelves of Woolworths despite having the odds stacked against it.

Made From Plants took advantage of heightened demand for plant-based protein products during the COVID-19 pandemic, launching a new and improved range.

It feels counterintuitive to launch a brand new line of products in the midst of a financial crisis, but the gamble paid off for Made With Plants; 86,000 units were sold across 1,000 stores during the first week of launch.

"Our domestic supply chains were heavily impacted by COVID-19, and essential businesses functions such as negotiations, product tastings and testings have been more complex," says co-founder of Made With Plants Cale Drouin.

"Health incidents such as COVID-19 will prompt more Australians to think about where their food comes from, and we're already seeing a renewed demand for plant-based proteins worldwide.

"Locally grown plant-based proteins could also provide Australia with greater food security, especially as international supply chains experience the fallout due to COVID-19."

The freshly launched range included ready-made meals, dairy-free cream cheese, meat-free mince, meat-free meat loaf and meat-free bacon.

Made With Plants was first launched into Woolworths stores in September 2019, just a few months before the pandemic, and already accounts for 20 per cent of the plant-based category in the supermarket chain.

The company's products are made using plant-based proteins derived from ingredients like seitan from wheat and tofu from soybeans.

Demand for vegan foods like Made From Plants is growing at a considerable rate; in Australia the sector is expected to be worth about $3 billion by 2020 and globally $54.5 billion by 2024. This demonstrates an annual growth rate of 14 per cent.

"More every day Australians will choose plant-based alternatives if these foods are easily accessible, fairly priced and above all taste great," says Drouin.

"The fact that mainstream supermarkets such as Woolworths are investing in their plant-based category says a lot about our future food choices as a nation.

"We feel incredibly fortunate to continue growing our business in the present economic climate and we're staying focused on our mission, which makes it easier to look beyond day-to-day challenges."

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