Browsing by Subject "plant-based milk"

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  • Laitinen, Anna-Emilia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Current food production and consumption practices have major impacts on the climate and the environment. Studies are calling for a transition towards plant-based diets as climate change poses an imminent threat of global natural catastrophes. Plant-based milk (PBM) products can be seen as radical innovations and as alternatives to liquid dairy milk that have started to break away from their former ethical and medical market niches. This study aims to gain understanding in how PBM products are positioned as alternatives to dairy milk and how the mainstreaming of these products could challenge the dairy sector. Specifically, the study is interested in how Finnish PBM products are marketed and how these PBM producers could be potential drivers of a sustainability transition in the food industry. This study focused on the digital marketing material that Finnish PBM producers used during the initial launch of their PBM products. The materials were collected online from existing and locatable sources (e.g. websites and social networking spaces) as well as from solicited material acquired from company representatives. The data was analyzed by conducting qualitative content analysis on the materials. The results showed that Finnish PBMs are marketed as alternative yet convenient products that are simultaneously health, tasty, and functional, as well as sustainable and plant-based. Even though Finnish producers were found to be hesitant to explicitly challenge the dairy sector, some brands positioned their products as part of a new food system that is transitioning away from the use of animal-products. These results suggest that the mainstreaming of Finnish PBMs and specifically oat milk is a positive shift towards more sustainable modes of production and consumption. Furthermore, the involvement of well-established food and dairy industry actors in the Finnish PBM market could have a role in reforming the institutional structures that empower people to eat animal-derived products. The seemingly neutral, non-provocative marketing style of Finnish PBM products is aiming to normalize the use of PBMs and thus claim its spot in Finnish food culture as an everyday consumer good.