The shelves of the big discounters are usually not the first address when it comes to the future of healthcare. Today it’s different, since today “Beyond Meat” is on the refrigerated shelves at Lidl. A milestone in food retailing. But more than that: with consumer products such as “Beyond Meat”, a new era also begins for healthcare. The door to individualized medical food is open.
It is remarkable that Wiesenhof CEO Peter Wesjohann has secured the exclusive distribution rights for Beyond Meat in Germany. Wiesenhof thus joins the ranks of companies such as Rügenwalder. Actually classics of the meat industry, they rely on the constantly growing group that prefers vegetarian and vegan products. I discussed this development with both of them a few weeks ago at an event on the future of nutrition in Oldenburg’s Münsterland. In beautiful harmony both emphasized that they assume a stable growth of the vegetarian and vegan segments. Rügenwalder now accounts for 30% of group sales here.
With the actually inconspicuous packaging from Beyond Meat, there is a new idea in the refrigerated shelf. It appears to be a prognosis that is by no means daring: customers will take this idea home with them and it will solidify. The idea is: food will be made for me. The technologies currently under discussion for alternative protein sources lead directly to on-demand options. Exactly the same technology and supply chain can be used to produce meat substitutes on the spot. On order. According to my taste requirements. And, more importantly, based on my health data. In the first step, my “Beyond Meat” is tailored to my allergies and intolerances. In the second step, it compensates for nutrient deficiencies measured in real time. The step to order medical food couldn’t be smaller.
By the way, the introduction of “Beyond Meat” is also a picture book case for exponential growth. Whoever restricts it to the “burger for veggies” market in the long run will overlook the actual potential: individual meat-like products, made to order. The focus is not on the 10% vegetarians, the focus is on all those people who want to increase their well-being through nutrition, namely: all of them.