‘We all need to take a deep breath’

Right now, we’re going through a difficult economic time when consumers have less money in their pockets and shopping behaviors are changing,” ​said Zusel, a high-flying alcoholic drinks exec who took the helm at Quorn Foods USA​ early last year. “Trips are down, dollars are down, consumers are focused on essential purchases, and they’re trading down within categories,” ​he told FoodNavigator-USA.

“The other thing that’s going on because the category is still at an early stage is that there’s a massive amount of competition. I think over the last year over 115 new SKUs have come in, and not all of the food is meeting the expectations of consumers, so you see a number of brands having very low repeat purchase rates, in the 10% range.  

“Our repeat is about 47%, which is the highest in the category, and on some of our core SKUs, we are seeing an increased rate of sale, so that is positive. But we really do need to see the economy come back a little bit and see consumers have a little bit more money in their pockets, so we won’t be in the kind of share trading moment that we’re in right now within the category.”

‘Our repeat is about 47%, which is the highest in the category’

He added: “So that’s been our conversation with retailers: Let’s make sure the most awarded and best food is on the shelf, as we want consumers to have a good experience, so they come back and repeat purchase. Right now, close to 70% of consumers in the category are flexitarians and meat eaters, and if they don’t have a good experience the first time they might not come back.”

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