Making a market for alternatives: marketing devices and the qualification of a vegan milk substitute

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to describe, conceptualise and critically discuss how and with what consequences marketing is used to construct a mass market for vegan substitutes. Drawing on the concepts of the marketing device and qualification, it shows how Oatly – a Swedish company making oat-based products – enrols three sets of marketing devices, i.e. digital media, packaging and stores, to simultaneously ‘alternativise’ and ‘convenienise’ its range of vegan products. The result is the material and discursive construction of a range of vegan products that is qualified as different enough from conventional dairy products to be an attractive alternative, but similar enough to fit into existing practices of shopping for food, cooking and eating. By qualifying products along multiple registers, Oatly constructs ‘plastic’ products, which can be consumed, for various reasons, by various groups of consumers thus enacting a multi-niche market for its products.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • University of Gothenburg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified

Keywords

  • vegan consumption, food substitutes, sustainability, alternative, market devices, qualification
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Marketing Management
StateE-pub ahead of print - 2017 May 25
Peer-reviewedYes