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In Shanghai, food tech company Eat Just is set to open the Future Food Studio: an entirely plant-based culinary innovation hub. Eat Just, the creator of Just Egg (a vegan egg replacement), has recruited top chefs in Shanghai to teach cooking classes that use its product. The Future Food Studio also released a WeChat mini program, which consumers can use to sign up for classes (with some free classes available). Furthermore, when the studio opens from October 10 to October 30, it will offer samples and giveaways to the public.
Animal product alternatives were pervading consumers’ diets long before the pandemic. But today, of course, people are prioritizing their health and hygiene more than ever. Meaning the meat-free movement – which emphasizes sustainability, natural ingredients, and isn’t exposed to the viruses found in factory-farmed meat – has only intensified. Hence vegan alternatives being embraced at every tier of the market; from Michelin-starred Harwood Arms in London wrapping its Scotch egg in vegan bacon to mass-market KFC debuting plant-based fried chicken in China. And Eat Just itself reports that its vegan egg sales shot up by 40% in China alone since the pandemic began.
But let’s zoom out for a moment. The insights we can draw from the Future Food Studio extend beyond just vegan/alt-meat adoption. It additionally connects to something much deeper: how the pandemic is prompting consumers to take ‘this time’ to improve themselves, develop better habits and tick off bucket-list goals. A few examples? 64% of consumers globally are now making concerted efforts to limit their food waste, and 47% are learning new skills which include (among 58% of people surveyed from around the world) testing out new cooking methods or recipes – a behavior the Future Food Studio is directly tapping into with its classes.
Could your brand take a cue from Eat Just and also act as an educator? One that helps consumers achieve self-actualization or develop healthier/more ethical lifestyles? How might you teach people how to make the most of your products and services, in order to hit these goals?
The TrendWatching content team
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