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B2B go-to-market strategy for novel protein ingredients

You’re an exciting alternative protein brand about to launch an innovative ingredient, what could possibly go wrong? Actually, quite a lot…being able to navigate the route to market can be extremely challenging.

That’s why you need an effective B2B go-to-market strategy to ensure your success and break down the process into twelve manageable stages.

By following the steps below, you’ll be able to prevent many of the errors and oversights that can thwart success.

In addition, the same twelve steps can be used as part of an iterative process to continuously improve the ingredient and performance while scaling up.

Join Good Food Institute and Bright Green Partners to learn how to create a B2B marketing strategy for your novel protein ingredient

What is a B2B go-to-market strategy?

A B2B go-to-market (GTM) strategy is a framework designed to guide you through the process of launching a novel food ingredient to business end customers successfully.

An effective strategy will validate a market fit for the ingredient, elicit a marketing and sales plan, and ultimately fulfill a genuine customer need at a competitive price.

Why is a robust strategy important?

Not so long ago, oats were associated with a wholesome bowl of muesli and the odd breakfast bar.

Then, at the end of 2016, Oatly launched its oat milk in the US. Fast forward to 2019 and Oatly’s revenue grew from approximately $15.5 million to $69 million, sparking a new craze for oat-based products along the way.

How did they do it? The Swedish company teamed up with popular artisanal coffee shops to sell their novel milk alternative. As part of their innovative go-to-market strategy, Oatly engaged authentic coffee connoisseurs to act as ambassadors.

As demonstrated by Oatly’s conquest of America, a B2B go-to-market strategy is an important roadmap to success; it shows us our destination and identifies useful and sometimes unexpected stopping points along the way.

How to create a B2B go-to-market strategy

A B2B go-to-market strategy framework revealing the 12 steps from functionality testing of an ingredient to going to market (distribution and sales)
The go-to-market framework is intended to guide the process of validating a market fit for your novel ingredient and positioning to fulfill a genuine customer need at the right price

As the leading global alternative meat and dairy consultancy with a large international network of 1500+ experts, we have helped countless clients to form effective strategies.

Below is our step-by-step guide to building your own using the typical approach we implement to successfully win the future of meat and dairy:

  1. Functionality testing
    Evaluate the key properties of raw and processed ingredients to obtain information about their quality and the manufacturing process parameters necessary to produce a consistent food product, such as the perfect alt meat made using high-moisture extrusion. You’ll need access to a laboratory for this step.
  2. Chemical and microbiology testing
    Ensure there is no contamination or unwanted substances that may pose a risk or prohibit scaling up. All novel food products must be officially certified and proper documentation should be obtained.
  3. Application testing
    Explore realistic scenarios of end users and use cases to identify pain points and understand how the ingredient is applied to answer a need.
  4. Value chain analysis
    A diagram showing the upstream to downstream value chain typical of the go-to-market route for B2B ingredients. It includes raw materials, processing, distribution channels, and B2B end customers.
    An upstream to downstream value chain has four major elements before the ingredient makes its way to consumers, from raw material to B2B end customers

    By analyzing the processes that are involved in creating your novel protein ingredient, you will gain insight into how to optimize the value created at each point along the chain. Not only does this improve your positioning and share more value with your end users, but it will also develop a better understanding of your competitive advantage.
  5. Competitor analysis
    Understand your business' standing in the marketplace in relation to your competition by studying what your competitors offer and which ingredients they use. This will help you to identify their USPs as well as shape your own.
  6. Define your target market
    Conduct a customer needs analysis to identify factors that motivate B2B end customers to purchase your ingredient, such as functionality and end application. It will also determine the wider perception of your ingredient and its position within the marketplace.
  7. Define your own USP
    Once you have completed the previous steps, you’ll be ready to define your USP: what your ingredient does, the function(s) it serves, how it answers customer needs, and why it's different from - and better than - other options on the market.
  8. Market attractiveness
    Identify the overall attractiveness of your potential market by taking into account factors such as the market size, growth projection, and level of competition. Porter's Five Forces model can help you to identify and analyze the competitive forces that influence your industry of interest.
There might be critical signs you see during the market attractiveness assessment which reveal that the market is less attractive than you thought. For example, there’s no industry growth, a reduction in market demand, barriers to new entrants, too many new entrants, etc.
Floor Buitelaar
Co-Founder of Bright Green Partners
  1. Customer segmentation and targets
    Create subsets of your market based on factors such as demographics, needs, priorities, shared interests, and other behavioral criteria. This will help you to understand how your market will respond in a given situation and develop more targeted product, sales, and marketing strategies.
  2. Brand strategy
    Use your USP and customer targets to develop a long-term plan to achieve your goals and objectives. This can include your brand’s “why”, its pledge to customers, and your chosen methods of communication.
  3. Price and SKU definition
    Once you know everything about your ingredient and who will buy it, you also need to determine how much your competitors are selling their products for and the amount your target audience will pay.
  4. Going to market: distribution and sales
    table-revealing-the-rationale-behind-selling-to-different-customer-groups
    Depending on whether you choose to sell to large corporations or smaller start-ups, you’ll need to consider the costs that go into packaging and delivering different quantities (shelf-life and wastage are also important considerations that can affect cash flow)

    It’s time to take your novel ingredient to market! Whether you do that in-house, via a distribution partner, or directly depends on which sales channels you wish to target as well as the scale of production, which will shift from pilot to full-scale over time.

GO-TO-MARKET CASE STUDY

Find out how we assessed the market size, growth, main market forces, and other drivers of the plant-based meat industry in 3 different countries across Europe and Asia and created a go-to-market strategy for one of the leading global food players.
Read more

Final takeaways

There are twelve key stages to guide the process of validating a market fit for your novel ingredient and positioning to fulfill a genuine customer need at a competitive price.

Whilst the above steps facilitate a systematic approach, the complexity of bringing your novel ingredient to market must not be underestimated; building a comprehensive strategy is critical for success.

If you’re ready to get started on your B2B go-to-market strategy but want to learn more about how to design and/or implement it, please reach out to us at Bright Green Partners.

Our team of industry experts will equip you with in-depth and relevant knowledge of novel food ingredients and how to successfully bring them to market.

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