Organised by marketing and public relations company Scout 22 alongside plant-based industry veterans and groups, the new Scout Plant-Based Expo is slated to launch in September next year in Los Angeles. The expo will feature the newest plant-based food innovations and brands, and aims to connect these solutions with investors, retail buyers and distributors.
Scout Plant-Based Expo has just been announced for September 18, 2021, and will be held in the open-air Paramount Studios Backlot in Hollywood. The new expo is designed to be artisanal and carefully curated, to ensure that emerging and existing plant-based brands can enjoy “a significant presence and sufficient time” with potential partners, buyers, investors and distributors.
It seeks to address the challenges that many brands and organisers face with large-scale exhibitions, according to the founders of plant-based-focused PR firm Scout 22, Lori and Jim Amos.
“These mega expos we are now accustomed to are counterproductive — it is impossible to get quality time to make connections and it really is the brands that have the most money to spend who are the ones that get noticed. We want to change that,” they explained.
In addition, the organisers say that they will be able to provide companies who exhibit at the expo with valuable PR and marketing services as part of the cost of the booth package.
“Our booths will be single rate for everyone, no one will get a double wide or super-sized option no matter the size of the company so everyone is on a level playing field,” said Jim. “It’s 100% about boosting the plant-based community up—all boats rise vs. a race to the top for those companies with the most money.”
Applications for the Scout Plant-Based Expo will open this summer, and attendees will be approved based on a criteria including product taste, cruelty and exploitation-free, positive or net-zero impact on the planet, sustainability of ingredients, supply chain transparency and compliance with healthy workplace standards.
Some industry experts say the time is right for a more intimate small-scale event to emerge in place of the larger kinds typically held in the past, especially as the outlook for conventions and expos remains negative for the foreseeable future until a vaccine can be found for Covid-19.
For those who are unable to take part in person, which again may be a likely situation for many given the uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic, the event will feature a virtual component for individuals or companies looking to discover the latest brands and trends in the plant-based sector.
The organisers also highlight that plant-based foods have never garnered as much attention as it has now, due to heightened consumer concerns about health, safety, sustainability and vulnerability of the food supply chain . According to statistics from market research firm Nielsen, sales of vegan meat jumped by a staggering 280% in the second week of March compared to the same period last year in the United States.
In Asia, consumers are additionally concerned about the wave of livestock diseases, including the ongoing African swine fever (ASF) outbreak, recent reports of avian flu and the resurgence of Div1 virus that affects shrimp populations. Market forecasters now predict that led by Asian consumers, the global plant-based meat market could reach as high as US$21 billion by 2025. That being said, there is currently no dedicated plant-based trade show in the region.
Lead image courtesy of Pexels.