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Discover how Veganz was able to grow from a start-up to Germany's leading vegan food brand with the help of social listening

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Climate change is one of the most pressing problems in today’s world.

Overfishing, warming of the oceans, deforestation, extinction of entire animal species, famines, natural disasters – the consequences of climate change have far-reaching effects on all areas of our planet. People, especially the younger generations, are taking to the streets and demonstrating for a more climate-friendly and sustainable way of life.

More and more people are questioning their lifestyle and looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Diet plays a major role in this process and is one of the biggest CO2 drivers. With a plant-based diet, people can noticeably reduce their footprint. Veganz has recognized this trend and the need for vegan products.

In this case study, you will discover how Veganz was able to grow from a start-up to a company listed on the stock exchange with the help of social listening.

About Veganz

Veganz is Germany's first vegan supermarket chain and the best-known vegan food brand in Germany. For over 11 years, the Berlin based company has been developing innovative products to enrich the vegan diet and inspire a more sustainable lifestyle. Veganz currently offers 120 products in 19 different categories in their own shops, as well as online and in other retail stores. Their mission is to make it easier for more people to adopt a vegan diet and create a positive impact for a sustainable future.

Vegan products for flexitarians

Veganz's target group goes far beyond vegans and includes flexitarians who want to buy more plant-based alternatives and reduce their consumption of animal products. To reach these consumers, Veganz sells its products at as many touchpoints as possible: from its own shops to the distribution in large supermarkets, drugstores, online shops, but also via snack machines or at large events. Veganz does not only see other vegan brands as competitors, but also the big food brands.

Driving climate-friendly consumption with innovations

The issue of sustainability is becoming more and more relevant in many areas and consumers are increasingly demanding that companies take action. When shopping in the supermarket, it is often unclear how sustainable a product really is. Veganz has decided to communicate information about the sustainability of a product transparently on the product packaging.

For this purpose, a life cycle analysis was carried out for each product, taking into account four aspects: CO2 emissions, water consumption, animal welfare, and impact on rainforests. In this assessment, all stages in the production process are taken into account, from the sourcing of raw materials, to logistics and packaging. The product is then compared with the values of 10,000 products on the German food market and rated accordingly. With the help of a star rating, consumers can quickly and clearly see how much energy is used in the production of a product and how climate-friendly it is. Veganz is the first company to implement this innovation on a large scale.

Success is the result of failed attempts

Not all innovations and campaigns are successful from the very beginning and, like many companies, Veganz has experienced its share of trials and errors. However, Veganz sees mistakes as learning opportunities and a chance to grow. The brand faced a challenge when it wanted to rebrand. A successful rebranding strengthens the brand, makes it unique and improves customer loyalty. However, rebranding also carries a high risk that consumers will not recognize the brand and turn away.

This was the problem Veganz faced after the rebranding, and this is where Brandwatch came in. The company realized it did not have an accurate overview of what was happening in the market.

  • How do new products resonate with the consumers?
  • How is the target audience responding to campaigns or social media activities?
  • How are people talking about the company's own brand and products, but also about other competitors in the market?

With the help of Brandwatch Consumer Research, Veganz was able to answer these questions and incorporate the insights into future marketing activities.

"I realized that in all the activities we were doing, we had no understanding of what was moving the market. [...] We didn't have the numbers, we didn't have an overview of what was happening. And so I found Brandwatch because I needed a holistic way to understand a lot of different things - what was happening online, about our brand, and also about others."
— Moritz Möller, CMO & CPO at Veganz Group AG

How is the campaign received by the target audience?

When brands launch a campaign, marketers and creatives usually have a rough idea of what results they expect and what they want to achieve. With social listening platforms like Brandwatch Consumer Research, brands can see exactly how campaigns are being received by consumers online.

Veganz decided to launch a major 360-degree campaign, including a large TV commercial and influencer collaborations, to anchor the rebranded brand in the minds of consumers. An important part of the campaign was to activate and engage the community.

With Brandwatch, Veganz was able to understand how the campaign was being received by the community. Using social listening, the marketing team was able to see that they were reaching more people with the campaign, that more users were using the company hashtag, and what emotions people were expressing in their posts, such as using emojis. The analysis showed that the share of positive brand mentions increased by 22% during the campaign. The campaign resulted in consumers talking about the brand more often and more positively.

"Without Brandwatch, I wouldn't have seen the value of this sponsorship. And it helped me understand whether or not it's good to continue these activities in the future."
— Moritz Möller, CMO & CPO at Veganz Group AG

Taking new steps and keeping an eye on positive and critical voices

At the end of 2021, Veganz became the first vegan food manufacturer to go public. This step required a lot of convincing, as medium-sized companies that go public are often criticized. It also presented Veganz with a challenge. Brandwatch's sentiment analysis helped Veganz to identify exactly what was being criticized and where the criticism was coming from. For example, the company was able to place targeted ads in an online medium which had published an article critical of the company’s decision to go public.

This was not the only case where Veganz used Brandwatch data to improve their business. With continuous monitoring, the marketing team can stay up to date on what is being said about the brand online. The team stays on top of brand sentiment towards the brand and understands how it compares to other food brands. For example, Veganz used these insights to make a convincing case when communicating with new retail partners.

Social listening with Brandwatch helps Veganz to gain insights into their campaigns, learn from mistakes, and continue to innovate.

"We have been working with Brandwatch for several years. It was one of the first tools we used to better understand our position in the market."
— Moritz Möller, CMO & CPO at Veganz Group AG

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