Plant-Based Marketing: The Subtleties Make a Difference

May 1, 2020 | Branding, Plant Based Entrepreneurs

When considering plant-based marketing campaigns, the subtlety of your words can make a distinct difference for your brand. Over the past few years, the acceptance of whole-food plant-based nutrition for food has risen dramatically. There are significant, well-accepted studies that indicate the negative impact of animal products, oils, and sugar on a diet. Entrepreneurs are embracing the results and offering products or services structured around the whole-food plant-based concepts. When they are considering marketing strategies, it is crucial to understand that subtleties make a distinct difference in their success.

What Is It About?

It is best to define with clarity just what is whole-food plant-based (WFPB) nutrition. As defined by the Plant Based Nutrition Movement (PBNM):

Following a dietary pattern that focuses as closely as possible to eating plants in as close to their natural “as grown” condition as possible. These foods include fruit, starchy and non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, pulses, herbs and spices, nuts and seeds, each of which is unprocessed or minimally processed and without the need for added “chemicals.” It’s a lifestyle that does not include eating animal parts or products, which means it excludes things like meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, eggs, butter, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.

While the WFPB lifestyle excludes all animal derived products, it’s very distinct from being a “vegan” lifestyle. Probably the simplest way to distinguish the two is that vegan is all about what we don’t eat (animals) while WFPB is about what we do (plants).

There are about 18 top doctors and physicians who support whole-food plant-based nutrition. Some of the most notable are Dr. Kim A. Williams, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Michael T. Gregor, and of course, the father of the movement, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.

Mastering the Words

Just like in any other marketing concepts or strategies, words matter! But unlike the marketing of other products, whole-food plant-based nutrition concepts are a lightning rod for controversy. Entrepreneurs must understand the definitions, meanings, and concepts of whole-food plant-based nutrition. Do your research and read everything you can from the leaders in the movement. They all are active on the internet and social media. You will also find they have video content on the subject, and they are also included in most documentaries on the related subjects. Knowledge is power, and everything starts with clarity.

Character and Accuracy Wins

You are judged by what you say and your branding. Have the strongest level of character and clarity when portraying your product. There is simply no room for error. Some entrepreneurs and businesses try to take advantage of the whole-food plant-based nutrition movement simply to get into the action. It is an industry that is rocketing in popularity. Be cautious when you are developing your whole-food plant-based marketing strategies.

There is a huge difference between whole-food plant-based, vegan, and vegetarian. It is critical that you understand the subtleties and differences between the three. Today, many fast-food chains and restaurants are offering items labeled as plant-based alternatives. That in itself is correct to a point, but they are not whole-food plant-based. If in doubt, refer to the definition above. It is a subtlety that makes a difference in your marketing.

One disturbing example is one fast-food chain that is offering a plant-based alternative on their menu, and they are labeling it as such. It draws attention as a viable option because of the logo and labeling. However, when you look at the ingredients of the product they offer, it contains eggs! You cannot have a plant-based option which includes eggs, because the eggs are animal products. Secondly, these types of products are heavily processed and do not meet the standards of whole-food plant-based.

Character and clarity win the day, especially when developing strategies for whole food plant-based marketing. Know your product or service and develop a brand that reliably portrays what your customers want.

Interested in learning more about our plant-based marketing services for your business? Give us a call at 818.488.1543 or email us at