4 Key Digital Marketing Trends Influencing the Plant-Based E-Commerce Sector in 2024

Stay informed about the latest digital marketing trends impacting the plant-based e-commerce sector in 2024. Our website reveals the 4 key trends shaping the industry's future.

The proliferation of plant-based products in the last few years has really turned consumer habits on their heads. The food niche of this broader trend alone is set to generate over $64 billion this year, and will top $160 billion by the end of the decade – and that’s before plant-based products in other categories like fashion are taken into account.


For this reason, the rise in competition has been fierce, and new digital marketing trends are gaining traction in order to help the brands and retailers in this space ride the surge, rather than being left behind by it.


So with that taken into account, now’s a good time to talk over the promotional tactics that have found a footing in 2024, and what they mean for e-commerce operators.


Health as the Cornerstone of Commercial Success


There are all sorts of studies showing the benefits of eating a predominantly vegetarian or vegan diet, with one BMJ report even citing that this helped with a 39% reduction in susceptibility to the recent pandemic. Meanwhile a meta-analysis of multiple studies linked plant-based practices with a 30% reduction in the likelihood of gastrointestinal cancers.


For most consumers, more immediate benefits such as weight loss are higher priorities, as exemplified in a recent Stanford University report that found when identical twins were divided along dietary lines, with veganism adopted by half, visceral fat reduction was noticeable in this group.


All that is to say that e-commerce purveyors of plant-based comestibles such as Happy Beans are putting the emphasis on healthy food being the cornerstone of their appeal. Sure, the environmental angle is something that matters to many who are looking into a vegan lifestyle, but the promise of losing a few pounds this year, rather than the vaguer prospect of saving the planet over the course of decades, is a more saleable one.


Convenience as the Kicker


The idea of making a big song and dance over the health-positive aspects of plant-based e-commerce products is not a new one, but there are quite a few brands which are blending this with adjacent and no less significant upsides that appeal to modern buyers.


Convenience is arguably the biggest hitter of the bunch, with plant-based meal kits tapping into this in a big way. With 28% of employees working remotely right now, up from 20% in 2020, people have more need for home delivery services that let them focus on their professional responsibilities without also letting their healthier habits slide.


The temptation to order takeout can be kicked to one side when you know that there’s a fresh, tasty meal or snack made with plant-derived ingredients alone in the refrigerator. This gives marketers and retailers a two-pronged way to attack the issue of attracting a particular category of time-poor, cash-rich consumer who’s committed to putting convenience at the top of the agenda in their purchasing decisions.


There’s also the factor of repeat business to chat about in this context. Retailers that can move over to the subscription model, rather than relying on one-off purchases from the people they convert using digital marketing campaigns, stand to benefit more from the convenience trend than most. It might involve some backend rejigging and inventory management magic tricks, but the end result is more than worth the upfront finagling.


Packaging Design & Sustainability in the Spotlight


Another marketing trend that’s morphing as a result of the rise of plant-based e-commerce is the way that products are packaged.


Food items might still be a key talking point here, but it really applies to all aspects of this industry. So for instance with clothing brands like Rapanui and Birdsong, the packaging used for products shipped to consumers conforms to two key standards:


  • Social Shareability: If plant-based products are wrapped up in packaging that looks good, it’s more likely they’ll be snapped by customers and plastered across their social media accounts. Tied in with things like photo competitions from the brands in question, this attention to detail with the design works wonders for promoting lesser-known companies.
  • Eco-Conscientiousness: Everyone knows that single-use plastics are out of the question for plant-based brands, and this is reflected in packaging choices. It’s not just compostable or recyclable materials which are having their time in the spotlight, but also reusable or returnable containers.


This one-two punch of a trend is again evidence of the duality that impacts the entire plant-based e-commerce scene. You need to promote products in a way that connects with consumers and gets them to click ‘buy’, while still adhering to their sustainable tendencies. There’s a bit of a juggling act here, but keeping those balls moving becomes a repeatable, transferable skill.


One more trend which one can take into consideration.


User-generated content and influencer marketing


 Influencer marketing is still very important in influencing customer behaviour, particularly with millennials and Gen Z, two major markets for plant-based products. Influencers who share businesses' values in 2024 will include those of sustainability, health, and responsible consumption.


These influencers connect with their fans on social media sites like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube by sharing real stories, recipes, and lifestyle advice and promoting items. For instance, a well-known vegan lifestyle influencer and a plant-based fashion firm work together to produce interesting content that highlights sustainable production methods and cruelty-free clothing lines.


Moreover, user-generated content (UGC) is becoming more and more popular as an effective marketing technique. In order to establish social proof and legitimacy, brands encourage their consumers to post feedback, product reviews, and other customer experiences on social media. Users' own material serves as natural testimonials, encouraging prospective customers to try and believe in plant-based products.


Final Thoughts


Moreover, plant-based enterprises now rely heavily on sustainability and ethical branding, emphasizing open communication and quantifiable results. Brands are bringing in environmentally concerned customers and bringing about good change in the business by demonstrating their dedication to social responsibility, ethical sourcing, and eco-friendly operations.


The interaction of these digital marketing trends essentially reflects a broader movement in consumer behavior towards conscious consumerism and an increasing desire for brands and goods that are consistent with individual values and beliefs. Sustained development and success in the competitive market setting will depend on the plant-based e-commerce sector's ability to remain up-to-date with emerging trends and innovate with purpose-driven initiatives.


This swift foray into digital marketing trends that will shape the fate of plant-based e-commerce vendors in 2024 is only the start of the shake-up this sector is undergoing. Elements like living costs, logistics issues, and short-form content dominance all matter as well, so consider this your jumping-off point for further research!

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