golden casket

All That Glisters….

In Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice the message ‘All that glisters is not gold…’ is revealed as the Prince of Morocco wrongly chooses the…

…golden casket when trying to win the hand of the beautiful Portia, believing that what he sees on the exterior must reflect the value of what is inside – a classic case of being distracted by premium packaging, believing its contents to be of a higher value than they actually are.

In a very similar way, supermarkets and fast food retailers seem to be introducing their meat free wares to an eager audience of consumers, trying desperately to secure the biggest share of a market which is estimated to be worth somewhere in the region of £1 billion.  But the promises made by the advertising and promotional messaging may not tell the whole story and there is very much a case to apply the old adage ‘Buyer Beware!’.

At RDZ PR we represent the current trends very well, with one fully committed, long-term Vegan and one long term Vegetarian within our ranks.  We are, therefore, collectively very pleased to see a positive move towards a future where meat is no longer King and where there will be many viable alternatives for those who choose – through health, environmental or welfare reasons – to avoid the consumption of animal-derived products.  Let’s face it, the planet can no longer support current means of food production and we are running out of time to make big changes quickly enough; time really is of the essence.

So, overall, we are cheering the long list of companies who are making a serious entry into the Vegan / Vegetarian market; be it with their meat-free, no-meat, plant-based or meat-alternative products.  We applaud the general change in attitude.  Of course we understand that the change of direction by many is based more on economics than principles – aside from the size of the market alone the supermarkets, for example, are trying to fill the gap which has appeared in Christmas trading with the rapid deployment of their new ranges which are typically seeing an uplift in sales of around 30 – 40%!

The problem we foresee is that the scramble to enter this shiny new market and grab a hefty share of the enlightened pound is actually leading to the dilution of the existing market and perhaps also adding a level of distrust within a content-savvy sector of consumers.  Many companies have taken the time and spent the required money on expertise to make sure their products are exactly what today’s Vegans or Vegetarians want and expect.  Some, however, have gone for the easier target – the growing numbers of Flexitarians who will still eat meat products on occasion and, therefore, don’t tend to have the same strict requirements in provenance etc.

For example, Burger King recently announced the launch of the ‘Impossible Whopper’ (a meat-free version of the regular Whopper burger).  However, many have been intensely disappointed by the fact that the fast food chain have no intentions, and probably no facilities, to cook these patties anywhere other than on the main grill with all of their other products.  Not great news for Vegans or strict Vegetarians and akin to having a nut roast with beef gravy.  Of course many people who choose a plant-based lifestyle for matters of conscience would probably never set foot in a fast food outlet like Burger King, McDonalds or KFC anyway, disagreeing with their business model of producing high volume, low cost meat and poultry but for those who do, the Vegan alternative isn’t really a Vegan alternative at all.

This is where the potential new problem lies.  Trust.  It’s not necessarily that the supermarkets or fast food chains are lying, some are simply jumping on the bandwagon with a half-hearted attempt at fulfilling the real need.  Disappointing for those of us who were genuinely excited at having a much wider choice of foods to eat both at home and out of home and possibly missing the entire point about long term environmental sustainability. Short-sightedly also – and at their own future cost – they are alienating the growing number of people who stick to their lifestyle choices wholeheartedly and are not satisfied with products which are ‘nearly Vegan’.

At RDZ we say ‘Yes!’ to the introduction of any new product which extends our choice, but we urge the producers and retailers to focus on quality rather than quantity and do more than simply pay lip service to the idea that consumers don’t want to eat animal products.  Come on now!  Think about the bona-fide Vegans and Vegetarians rather than the audience of Netflix’s hugely successful ‘The Game Changers’ series.

Posted in

Rachel Hargrave

Rachel has over 30 years of local, regional, national and international communications experience and expertise across a wide variety of clients including FTSE 100 companies, SMEs, micro businesses and start-ups. She also has extensive charity, Not-For-Profit and Community Interest Company experience and happily offers clients working in these areas a 50% discount on all RDZ PR rates.

No risk with a FREE initial 45 minute consultation

To find out exactly how we can help you achieve your ambitious goals get in touch with us today. Our initial meeting is completely FREE and we promise you’ll leave with three brand new ideas that you can take away and implement immediately.

For your FREE consultation simply pick up the phone and call us today on:

What Our Clients Say...

Dean The Art Wizard.

Rachel is fantastic at what she does.  She is able to help you define your ambitions, develop your goals and help you grow your ideas to the stage you’re 100% happy with.  Throughout my own journey her encouragement has enabled me to really go for my dreams!  After talking to Rach I discovered the one-thing that I want to do in my life which has not yet been fulfilled.  Rach’s support has helped me believe in myself again.  Due to Rach’s assistance, we have now almost completed my very first press release which is the start of my audience growing strategy.  This will, in turn, enable me to work towards my key goal.   I look forward to continuing working with Rach in the future although I do realise I do take a lot of time up of her time!  However, I feel she also gets a real sense of satisfaction from assisting people to really go for their goals in life.   Without doubt I would highly recommend Rach and I would be happy to speak with anyone interested in using her PR services. 

Sangeeta Patel, Joint CEO, Reaching People

Rachel provided us with a day of free support in association with the LLEP programme. Despite it being ‘free’ Rachels support was professional and dedicated. We received a full day of practical support including a discussion to fully understand our organisation, an assessment of our need, the production of a communications and marketing plan that was realistic, manageable and practical aimed at helping us move ahead on the communications front and, ultimately, with our organisational objectives. Rachel achieved so much in the time she had including writing and issuing a press release that appeared in the Leicester Mercury, wording for our website homepage and a letter to go with our membership pack. She also shared her hints and tips about social media, her press contacts and she connected me with a potential Reaching People member! In all it was an invaluable experience. Thank you, Rachel for giving up your time to help us.

Heather Johnson, Botanical Artist & Stationery Designer

I went on one of Rachel’s introduction to PR workshops and it was fantastic. She covered absolutely everything, explained it all in an understandable way and didn’t try to sell anything. She gave as much information as possible, answered all questions and she was just lovely. I would highly recommend Rachel for anything to do with PR and won’t hesitate to use her services in the future.

Ravi Summan

I was introduced to Rachel by an executive coach. My requirements were to provide quality, simple to understand content to engage with my target market and generate new customer enquiries in health and wellbeing. From my first discussion with Rachel, it was clear that she had the skills and empathy to provide a service to support the growth of my business. Rachel’s content writing and editing is very effective and her diligence ensures the right message is articulated. It is no surprise to me she has a strong track record of helping entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes support their growth. Aside from her professional competencies, Rachel genuinely cares about people and working with her allows you to focus on your core business. For those who are new to building their own business or employed by a large corporate, you will get value and authenticity from Rachel’s content and PR services.

Jayne McIntosh, Director, Air Aesthetics Health & Wellness Clinics

I met with Rachel and was instantly impressed with her warmth, enthusiasm and ability to understand the key issues being faced. She took time to clarity objectives and the key tasks required. A quick study she was able to pinpoint the brand tone of voice accurately. Rachel’s’ copy writing skills have been excellent. She has written for my business website, advertorial pages in lifestyle magazine and has also written first class responses to awards entries which are curtailed in length. Rachel is just really, really good!

Victoria Curtis, Company Secretary, Mono Roofing Ltd

Rachel came to provide our company with an appraisal for the company PR, and we learnt an awful lot! Rachel taught us how to make the most of our marketing and advertising and how to make it work for us, to get the client’s we really want. Rachel has provided our company with a plan to follow, and we are gradually implementing these procedures, and we know that in doing so, it will really raise the profile of our company and get us the work we want. I would definitely recommend Rachel to manage your company’s PR.

Trusha Lakhani, MD, Great Business Matters t/a Trusha Lakhani

Rachel Hargrave is one of the best PR experts that I have met. She not only understands the best awards for her clients but also how to make the most of the opportunity for the client’s personality. Put simply Rachel gets people. She understands her clients and their goals and is with you all the way. I highly recommend Rachel Hargrave and The Awards people and RDZ PR.

Paul Gerrard, MD, Gerrard Cranes

Rachel and I met yesterday to discuss my existing marketing and options for how we can improve and develop the strategy for my business. It’s very clear that Rachel has vast amounts of experience, knowledge, ability and some great contacts to achieve some amazing results. If you need some professional guidance with PR/awards/marketing then I’d highly recommend you get in touch with Rachel and see how she can help you out.

Victoria Beale, CEO, Business Live Global

I’ve worked with Rachel for the past ten years on a variety of client projects and for my business also and the service we have received has been second to none, consistent and most importantly delivers RESULTS. I would have no hesitation recommending RDZ PR to my customers and Business Live Network. Thanks Rach! Here’s to another ten years and more!

Mark Esho MBE, Easy Internet Services, Easy Internet Solutions, Dreme, Access Rating CIC

Thanks for all the hard work you put into the PR work for our companies and subsequently the business award submissions. You made the whole process stress-free, and the quality of the submissions have resulted in the receipt of multiple business awards. Great work, Rachel.