Brands must be more than a machine geared simply towards pure profit. Brands intent on becoming successful nowadays must think about the future and how they can strike a balance between profit, people and Mother Earth. This is the vision of the consultancy firm &samhoud, which became a reality two years ago when it introduced a range of meat substitutes and fresh meals, helping make the world a better place. PIM (Platform Innovatie in Marketing) spoke to Marieke van der Heijden, Head of Strategy & Business Development) at &samhoud food.
&samhoud is a renowned consultancy firm with a start-up in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry and a 2-star Michelin restaurant in the heart of Amsterdam. How did that come about?
“I always have to explain, even to those close to me, but it suddenly becomes very logical once you know we think according to our purpose ( together we build a brighter future). In the future, we will have to adopt a different approach towards food. If we all continue consuming food at the current rate, there simply will not be enough to feed 9 million people by 2050. This certainly holds true for meat. Obesity is also becoming increasingly prevalent around the world. To ensure a better future, we need to eat more vegetables and less meat. Our 2-star Michelin restaurant, managed by chef Moshik Roth, offers us a unique opportunity to discover and try out new innovations before bringing them to the general public via &samhoud food. In this way, we do not only inspire the happy few in our restaurant, but also hope to encourage people to eat healthier on a larger scale.”
What is going on within the world of marketing? Why does everyone suddenly want a purposeful brand?
“I think that a new generation of consumers has become such determining factor that they demand brands with a sustainable vision. This generation that this can no longer continue. That we need to move away from a mindset of merely grabbing as well as the type of capitalism responsible for this crisis. Change is needed to leave a better world behind for future generations. But it is not only that desire for sustainability that motivates brands with purpose. More and more organisations are realising that a purpose steers innovation and is financially very profitable. This combination of factors ensures that a meaningful brand becomes the standard. But simply writing down an inspiring slogan is not enough. A purpose must be real and authentic. Consumers must be able to trust it by seeing that it is truly real. I believe that authenticity is also a reason why new businesses can become popular so quickly. Consumers trust these businesses’ clean slate and good intentions. The future for vegetable products is therefore highly promising.”
You have been busy with &samhoud food for around three years. How is it going at the moment?
“Incredibly well. The Dutch supermarket Albert Heijn is selling our range of fresh meals and meat substitutes, we are increasingly better at responding to demand in order to retain our place on the shelf, and are preparing for international expansion into the US and Asia. We are really seeing market momentum. More and more consumers are aware of the negative effects of excessive meat consumption and are being encouraged to eat more greens thanks to the updated version of five portions of fruits and vegetables a day. Only two per cent of the Dutch population current eat the recommended daily intake of 250 grams.”