Plant-Based Ethics and Natural Products Industry Trends

What we learned at the Spark Change™ Mission-Driven Business Community Event 

Recently the NewHope Network hosted a Mission-Driven Business Community Event, as part of their new Spark Change™ series. We checked out the session, “What's Next in Mission-Driven Business? Data & Insights, ”to learn about trends that are shaping  the growth of the natural products industry. 

The session speakers, Eric Pierce (New Hope Network) and Kathryn Peters (SPINS), talked about how retailers need to be thoughtful about what products fill the limited space in store shelves.  Using the latest sales, innovation, and consumer engagement data, their session was geared to help retailers identify and prioritize mission-driven products that should be on the shelf.

The discussion touched on areas in the industry that offer the greatest opportunity for sales, differentiation points for successful product development, and how to prioritize your brand among other mission-based brands. Some identified mission-based trends covered in the session were responsible sourcing, multi-stakeholder business models, sustainable packaging, waste reduction and plant-based ethics. 

Of particular interest was the section covering plant-based ethics, where the speakers talked about the massive growth in this category and why consumers are eating more plant-based foodsfor reasons like health and environmental concerns, as well as due to animal welfare issues and food safety. 

Due to this market growth and these identified plant-based trends, this has been a topic of interest here at InsightsNow as well. We have explored the area of plant-based proteins extensively in our recent white paper, “Beyond Impossible—Behavioral KPIs for Plant-Based Burgers,” and the trends in the session resonated with our own findings. You can check out the white paper here.  

Next up for New Hope’s Spark Change™ series is their Modern Health Community Event on October 7th where we will be joining along with other brands and products representing the future of wellness to take in the panels and presentations on this timely topic. 


Rapid Product Development Solution Launched by InsightsNow and CuliNex

CRAEVS Solution developed to help food and beverage companies take products quickly through concept, commercialization and commerce stages. 

30 September 2020 – Portland, OR – InsightsNow, a behavioral research firm, in partnership with CuliNex, a clean label product development consulting firm for the food industry, have released a new product development solution called CRAEVS (an acronym for Clean Label Research through Agile Evolutions into Stores). The companies brought together their respective consumer insights and culinary innovation expertise to build this end-to-end solution for food and beverage company’s innovation efforts. 

 “The solution is a first for the food industry. It brings together the creativity of culinary experts, inspired and guided by consumer insights, to accelerate cost effective product development timelines,” said Dave Lundahl, CEO and Founder of InsightsNow. “The all-in-one solution not only streamlines the process from initial opportunity all the way to the store shelf to deliver cleaner, healthier food product alternatives sought by consumers, it is especially needed during current times to help companies overcome the workflow disruptions caused by the ongoing pandemic.” 

The CRAEVS Solution was built to take food product and marketing teams through five sprints in a completely integrated process:  

  1.  Clean Label Category Review: Understand competitive space and potential consumers, find your focus
  2. Co-Create Concepts: Gather qualitative consumer data to create and refine concepts
  3. Co-Design Products & Packaging: Develop and measure effectiveness of target prototypes 
  4. Commercialize Products & Packaging: Scale production conditions and match prototype to goals 
  5. Retail Store or Home Use Testing: Validate the product and get shelf performance feedback

The five phases are implemented through a single teamformed by InsightsNow and CuliNex, structured to bring together culinary and food science innovation with insights from consumers in a rapid iterative manner. 

 “By using insights-driven research, we are able to partner together to inspire, guide and validate the product development process,” said Mark Crowell, CEO of CuliNex. “Between our two teams, we have 100+ years of development experience that can help food and beverage companies say ahead of trends—particularly for clean label products.” 

To learn more about CRAEVS, please visit  

 About InsightsNow 

InsightsNow, an award-winning behavioral research firm, partners with companies across a wide array of industry verticals to accelerate marketing, branding and product development decisions for disruptive innovations achieving a cleaner, healthier world. Insights are provided via custom solutions and assisted DIY tools based on proprietary behavioral frameworks to help find answers faster, improving your speed-to and success-in market. 

 About CuliNex 

CuliNex is a product development consultancy specializing in the development of delicious clean label food products. CuliNex works with brand owners, food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, retailers, and multi-unit foodservice operators to achieve their growth goals by bringing successful products to market. 



Media contact: Michelle Andre, 415-577-8634,