Alexandre Ruberti is the CEO of Future Firm and a board member of Celsius Holdings. Previously, he worked at Red Bull for 16 years, serving in dual roles – President of Red Bull Distribution Company USA and Executive Vice President of Sales for Red Bull North America. He is credited with rapidly developing the business through incremental growth and now brings his wealth of experience in the plant-based industry.
Plant-based is a marathon and not a sprint
By Alexander Ruberty
It’s no secret that the plant-based industry ebbs and flows, but it’s important to take a step back and ask why — while remembering that plant-based is still a relatively new category.
As with any new market, it will stabilize — and more importantly, let’s analyze the entire segment rather than just the performance of one or two players. I think electric vehicles or even energy drinks; When these divisions first started, there were many ups and downs and eventually a clear path to sustainable growth. And look today — electric vehicles are everywhere and energy drinks are sold in virtually every beverage category across the United States. It didn’t happen overnight, it took time. So, what’s the difference with a plant-based diet?
As the CEO of a plant-based company, we have to recognize that we are in the business of educating consumers, showing them that they have a choice. As we continue to grow as an industry, we’re teaching consumers that it’s okay to be flexible. Most of us aren’t telling the world to give up meat 100% of the time, but it’s the small choices over a period of time that make a difference. There’s a way to eat with the future in mind that doesn’t sacrifice taste.
The math is simple: our planet can’t sustain the traditional protein we consume. It just won’t work long term. The environmental benefits of plant-based foods outweigh anything about animal products. We need to move away from an animal-heavy diet where you inefficiently grow plants to feed animals and then feed people. Gen Z consumers are aware of this, and more people than ever are catching on, but they need guidance on how to evolve from a meat-heavy diet to a plant-based diet. And Future Farm, like many other brands, will continue to cater to their needs.
Across the industry, we’re learning every single day, taking consumer feedback and applying it to the next innovation. Were the first cell phones amazing? Yes, maybe at that time. But do you want to use that same device now than your current one? Probably not. Technology changes and evolves rapidly, and we need to adapt and evolve with it. At the end of the day, that means better innovation and cleaner, more nutritious products.
In short, the plant-based diet is still ramping up and taking off; There is much more to be done and learned that will only benefit consumers. Education is key, and plant-based diets are here to stay. Let’s agree that we are talking about food, because plant-based meat is food and we invite people to try it. After all, this is a marathon and not a sprint, and we will be resilient in the race.