“How should Fuji Oil position plant-based cheese in the Netherlands?” that was the question that a student team consisting of members from the food technology and food business courses at HAS University of Applied Sciences (Den Bosch, The Netherlands) focused on in a project sponsored by Fuji Europe Africa BV.
Using focus groups and an online survey, the students found that while vegans are already familiar with plant-based cheese products, many vegetarians and most non-vegetarians were unfamiliar with such products – but most consumers were willing to try them! All consumers listed taste and texture as the top characteristics required in a plant-based cheese, and most said that naming a product as a “plant-based cheese” made them benchmark the product directly with dairy cheese, so product naming is a key point to think about when placing such products in the consumer market.
The students carried out an extensive analysis of the market and the Fuji Oil Group and proposed recommendations to Fuji Europe Africa on how to best approach entry to the Dutch plant-based cheese market.
A job well done with lots of stimulating interaction! Congratulations Team!!