Where’s the Meat?

In case you haven’t noticed, there are a growing number of meatless ‘meat’ products now available at both grocery stores and restaurants. In the past few months alone, several fast food chains launched chicken-free chicken and meatless burgers to their offerings, and all seem to delight customers who are looking for plant-based alternatives to meat.

In one instance, KFC supplied an Atlanta franchise with faux-meat chicken from Beyond Meat called the ‘Beyond Fried Chicken’. Customers arrived before the doors even opened and the restaurant sold out of its supplies in just five hours! Of course, social media was responsible for the rush to test, but nonetheless, selling out what was supposed to be a several day experiment in less than a day says a great deal about the changing consumer tastes.

Burger King is already established in the meat-free burger category and has been selling the ‘Impossible Burger’, using the plant-based patties from Impossible Meats. White Castle is also in the mix with its ‘Impossible Slider’ (also from Impossible Meats), also sold nationwide.

And last, but not least, McDonald’s has jumped into the meatless game with its ‘PLT’ burger from Beyond Meat – plant, lettuce, and tomato. While today the PLT is only available in Ontario, Canada, it seems likely to make the move to a national distribution as well.

What’s going on? What are these new ‘meats’? The term ‘meatless meats’ is a contentious point, but the products are made by combining plant-based fats, binders, fruit and vegetable-based colors and flavor to create a fibrous texture of meat (no animal components). While these types of products have existed for a number of years, they were commonly marketed only to vegetarians and vegans. Today’s new plant-based meats are aimed directly at meat-eaters, particularly consumers who are concerned about climate change and eliminating animal products from their diets. However, plant-based meats are not typically as healthy as eating unprocessed vegetables and beans and meat consumption is still increasing worldwide. The burgers are often high in calories and fats.

Are you hungry?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Review meatless meat products and meals as needed:
    1. McDonald’s PLT burger: https://youtu.be/StVR1njx2ow
    2. KFC meatless chicken: https://youtu.be/U-imMy7Ohik
    3. Burger King Impossible Whopper: https://youtu.be/N9FED3jkNTo
    4. Impossible Whopper: https://www.bk.com/menu-item/impossible-whopper
    5. The Better Meat Co: https://www.bettermeat.co/
    6. Beyond Meat: https://www.beyondmeat.com/
    7. Impossible Foods: https://impossiblefoods.com/
    8. Carl’s Jr Burger calorie: https://www.carlsjr.com/menu/nutritional_calculator/beyond-famous-star-with-cheese
  2. Discuss the five factors of an environmental scan: Social trends, technology trends, competition, economic trends, and legal/regulatory factors.
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team use their laptops or mobile devices to discover at least two points in each of the five categories of an environmental scan.
  4. Debrief the exercise by compiling information on the white board.
  5. Do these factors show why companies are embracing the new foods?
  6. Extra video: If students are interested, a scholarly video about climate change and food can be found at: https://youtu.be/8miQs3mPGu8

Sources: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age, Associated Press, and other news sources

 

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Back-to-school Shopping includes Bulletproof Backpacks

By now most students have returned to school and many have new school supplies. You know the drill – it’s time to stock up on supplies such as pencils, laptops, notebooks, folders, and bulletproof backpacks. Wait – what? Bulletproof backpacks? Is that even a thing?

Unfortunately, yes, bulletproof backpacks have become a school accessory that helps to counter fears of school shootings. It’s not just parents who worry about mass shootings, students worry as well. According to Pew Research, nearly 60% of U.S. teenagers between 13 and 17 said they were “very” or “somewhat” worried that a shooting could happen on their campus. And when we have a fear, we also have a need to counteract that fear however we can. Thus, bulletproof backpacks whose sales have risen more than 200% after the latest school shooting.

These backpacks are not even a rarely-sold novelty, nor are they cheap. According to some companies that manufacture the $180 – $205 backpacks (along with inserts and other gear), many retailers have sold out over the year. The packs are of course sold at some specialty stores, but it may surprise you to find out that even Office Depot and OfficeMax have sold the product.

What are you using to carry school supplies?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students as to what would be on back-to-school shopping lists.
  2. Show a video to explain the products: https://youtu.be/C5gsk-3hiIE
  3. Show product examples:
    1. https://premierbodyarmor.com/collections/school-safety?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI75n8mpSh5AIVj8DACh06bQBMEAAYAiAAEgLKNPD_BwE
    2. https://www.bulletblocker.com/bullet-proof-backpack-shield.html
  4. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  5. For this product, what is the target market?
  6. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market for bulletproof backpacks. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.

Source: Smith, D. (8 August 2019). Bulletproof backpacks? Deadly shootings have parents adding to back-to-school list. Sacramento Bee.

 

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Marketing Campaigns for Nonprofit Organizations

Marketing for a nonprofit organization can present challenges to marketers. While basic marketing principles follow the same guidelines for products, there are differences in marketing for organizations that are nonprofits providing critical services, versus products from for-profit organizations. For-profit organizations can focus marketing messages on the delivered value and benefits of the products for the consumers. It’s relatively clear-cut.

On the other hand, nonprofits have a wider audience and often have no tangible product that can be delivered to its supporters. And, instead of more easily identified consumers, nonprofits must attract and retain donors who may be giving funds only when the spirit moves them. These are not necessity purchases per se; they are donations given to support something that is important to the donor. While donors and consumers can both be considered target markets, donors are driven by passion and causes rather than immediate needs and wants. They psychology is different.

Nonprofits need to use compelling visual marketing to appeal to donors. Top nonprofit marketers use powerful videos and photos of those whose lives will be changed by the organization. Testimonials and infographics are also important tools along with clear, targeted communications in order to retain the donors. A disaster may drive donations to quickly mount, but how are the donors retained over time?

Social media is an important tool for nonprofits to reach and engage donors. Branding is also critical to build and maintain a clear identity. And, social media campaigns have the added benefit of possibly going viral. Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? That was one of the top campaigns ever produced, generating $115 million in the summer of 2014 and garnered celebrity participation and donations.

All that from a bucket of ice.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of marketing for nonprofits.
  2. Show several nonprofit campaigns:
    1. Make a wish: https://www.youtube.com/user/MakeAWishFoundation
    2. Water is life – 1st world problems: https://youtu.be/fxyhfiCO_XQ
    3. Project life jacket: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectLifeJacket/
    4. Truth: https://twitter.com/truthorange
    5. Water Aid: https://www.wateraid.org/us/get-involved/give-a-shit-donation-country-page
    6. World Wildlife Fund: https://twitter.com/wwf
    7. ALS Ice bucket challenge: http://www.alsa.org/fight-als/ice-bucket-challenge.html
  3. Divide students into teams and have each team select five different nonprofit organizations that they admire.
  4. Have each team delve more deeply into one of the nonprofits, making sure that each team has a different organization.
  5. Finally, have students develop a storyboard for a nonprofit organization.

Source: Allen, Z. (15 August 2019). 8 top nonprofit online campaigns that rocked social media. Socialbrite.org.

 

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