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  • Plant Squad
    The Best Version of The Mexican
    Market Fit | Go-to-Market Strategy | Product | Identity | Marcomm I Tools

    How did Plant Squad revolutionize the alternative proteins industry with an inclusive value proposal?

    Plant Squad was born with the vision of three Mexican entrepreneurs who identified an opportunity to produce plant-based alternative proteins. Their mission is creating healthy alternatives for all Mexicans, regardless of their lifestyles or diets. That said, they faced a stigma of “products just for vegans,” which impeded the business’s long-term growth and scalability. To change market perceptions, Plant Squad sought out Thrust. Together we consolidated a strategy to increase Plant Squad market penetration and growth. Under a focus on describing “the best of the Mexican,” we created a new category, “alternative and inclusive proteins,” that links to everyone who wants to start a healthy life without sacrificing taste and richness in their recipes, traditions and customs.

    Expanding impact

    We recognized the principal barrier to achieving penetration and omnivore market adoption was a matter of familiarity, an essential component in consumer purchase decisions. To increase Plant Squad’s possibilities, we created a new products category, “alternative and inclusive proteins,” that, in addition to explaining to users the benefits of proteins made from plant bases, also let them link these to their own lifestyles. We designed a nomenclature for products that uses the Spanish-language word SIN (“without,” “free”) as a banner (e.g., “milanesa without chicken”) and we made that new category the first line in the Plant Squad product statement, “the best version of the Mexican.”

    New Mexican Revolution

    The objective at Plant Squad is to inspire a movement that takes up the best version of the Mexican. This wellness revolution goes beyond offering healthy food options, and extends to a mentality level and values that celebrate the best of Mexico along three lines: consuming healthy and inclusive products; an offering of practical experiences with Mexican flavors and extolling pride in what is ours and who we are.

    Join a cause

    We worked closely on the brand redesign with the Bala team, seeking not only to differentiate Plant Squad from other products in the category but as well to transmit the feeling of Mexico community and modernity we are constructing. The new Plant Squad logo alludes to the common cause of a growing community interested not only in improving its health via balanced nutrition that doesn’t sacrifice flavor, but also in taking care of the planet. We used a daring and direct tone of voice to invite everyone to step up to the new Mexican food revolution.

    New Horizons

    To make our cause and the “the best version of the Mexican” movement tangible, we re-posited the products’ visual presentation. In the first place we gathered all the products’ information to a single face, a challenge to other market products’ traditional format. Additionally we ceased speaking about the products’ ingredients or alternative proteins (seitan and tempeh), that said nothing to the uniformed user. Finally, we stirred users’ curiosity and imagination by portraying servings of “final” recipes made from our ingredients. With that we established a direct and candid link to the consumer by avoiding formation of incoherent perceptions or expectations.

    From Mexico for Mexicans

    With this new strategy, we extolled the taste and consumption of Mexican food through plant-based alternative proteins and as such we got away from guilt and moved forward with innovation. We sent an invitation to form part of the squad to four principal players: restaurants, stores, distributors and end-consumers. For each we opened a communications channel for personalized conversations where what matters is starting the conversation to maximize impacts and get more people hooked on “the best of the Mexican.”

    Plant Squad for all

    Thanks to the model we co-created, in a mere four months Plant Squad re-posited its strategy from being a niche model aimed a vegan consumers (20% of the total market) to a more inclusive model that adds omnivore consumers and everyone looking for healthy alternatives to be the very best version of themselves. Plant Squad is not a promise; it’s the present of a community that challenges itself every day to extol the Mexico values we all love: honesty, health, innovation and the common good. Welcome to the best version of the Mexican revolution.

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    Endémika Bamba