How to create a plant-based brand with mass appeal

Premier Foods came to us to futureproof its business by creating a healthy, plant-based snacking brand with millennial appeal: Plantastic.

Premier Foods wanted to grow its millennial consumer base and futureproof its business by creating a new brand that targeted health, wellbeing and snacking trends. The company had an iconic portfolio of brands – including Bisto, Ambrosia and Mr Kipling – but wanted to accelerate its strategic shift into healthy snacking. Although the new brand would be inspired by younger consumers, Premier tasked Happen with using that inspiration to create a range with cross-generational appeal, and long term commercial viability.

We collaborated on a series of insight workshops with Gen Y and Gen X consumers, exploring their attitude to health. By applying our own generational insights and and using data analytics tool StarMaker, we were able to uncover what health – and the shift to wellbeing – means to millennials on an emotional level. We discovered Gen Y was embracing a joyful, positive attitude to food, drink and other lifestyle choices. Health was no longer just about the exterior, but also the internal – emotional and mental wellbeing. Snacking, like other elements of their lifestyle, needed to therefore be a joyful, fulfilling experience with purpose and multiple benefits.

Happen really digs in and uncovers the underlying core insights and motivations driving consumers. To be able to really uncover those motivations takes a certain skill, understanding and expertise

Yilmaz Erceyes, Chief Marketing Officer at Premier Foods

Through our insight work, we identified veganism as a significant trend well before it entered mainstream consciousness. We also knew a plant-based brand would need to be multi-dimensional, uplifting and not at all exclusionary in order to appeal across generations.

The result: we helped Premier Foods create new brand Plantastic, a vibrant range bursting with nutrients that perfectly embodies the millennial attitude to wellbeing – convenient, tasty and plant-powered nourishment to energise your day. By focusing on hero ingredients in the flapjacks and dessert pots, such as chia seeds or turmeric, Premier emphasises the importance of pure, plant-based nutrition without using the word vegan – thus keeping it accessible. Simple, accurate health claims – such as the low sugar content – provides transparency for anyone seeking a healthier diet. Finally, the exciting flavours appeal to flexitarians wanting more vegetable goodness in their diet, without compromising on taste.

The range launched in 2019 with strong distribution and more products are due to follow in 2020.

Read more about The rise of plant-based here and contact us at to find out more about how Happen can transform your business.