How Plant-Based Brands Manage Trade Spend

Growing plant-based food and beverage brands have common challenges to plan sales, manage trade spend and deductions, and in measuring the performance of promotions. These challenges emerge as a brand’s product portfolio grows, new customers are acquired, and the number of promotions, trade spend, and deductions increase. All of this is further complicated by a good problem- a growing team- who all need to be integrated into the business process.  

RISKS WITH SPREADSHEETS 

Planning and tracking sales forecasts, trade spending, and promotions is typically completed with spreadsheets. While this solution may support basic needs, there are risks that result in re-work, inaccurate information, and inefficiency. Complex spreadsheets with different data sources that are shared across multiple users creates risk of human error and data integrity issues. Maintaining and collating data is time-intensive and can create delays in critical report production, without which, detail and insight on business performance (like forecast accuracy) cannot be achieved. This makes decision making difficult.  

For more information on the risks of tracking promotions and trade spend in Excel, click here. 

Plant-Based Brands that use UpClear BluePlanner

WHY LEADING PLANT-BASED BRANDS USE BLUEPLANNER TPM

Trade Promotion Management (TPM) software is specifically designed to help support sales planning, manage trade spend, and validate and clear deductions.  BluePlanner TPM, by UpClear  is used by a number of plant-based food and beverage brands.  Here’s how it helps them run their business.  

Ripple Foods is a California-based maker of plant-based dairy alternatives. Their search for a TPM solution was the result of outgrowing Excel spreadsheet tracking. Mark Mathews, Ripple’s head of sales at the time of selection said, “After a comprehensive and exhaustive search, we had unanimous support for our selection of BluePlanner as our TPM solution. We were very impressed with many of the features, but the key criteria that differentiated BluePlanner from other solutions and most attracted us were the following: dynamic customer level P&Ls to complement the planning process, information security, deductions and accrual solutions are embedded in BluePlanner’s functionality, the ideal level of automated integration.”  

Blue Diamond Growers, whose dairy alternative brand is Almond Breeze, deployed BluePlanner in 2020. Said Corby Drewes, Blue Diamond Grower’s Senior Manager of Sales Operations, at the time, “We believe UpClear’s BluePlanner solution is a perfect fit for Blue Diamond Growers. Ease of use and speed of deployment were two key reasons why BluePlanner was the clear choice. Three months after our kickoff meeting, we’re already training our Sales team and Broker partners, and we will be live in less than 6 months. The support we’ve gotten so far has been tremendous, advising us on best practices every step of the way. We’re confident we’ll see results in better fiscal year planning, visibility of customer investment levels/profitability, and ultimately, trade efficiency.”   

Whether new to market, established across multiple markets, or multi-channel (retail and foodservice), UpClear’s BluePlanner works for dairy and dairy alternative brands by creating a new level of structure, control, and efficiency in the sales planning and deduction management process, and delivering faster, more thorough insight into sales, trade spending and promotional performance. 

Pulmuone Foods USA, makers of the Nasoya brand, needed a TPM solution because of the growth of their business.  Managing sales plans, promotions, trade spending, and deductions with homegrown tools became unsustainable.  They deployed BluePlanner TPM to support the management of their trade strategy, replace spreadsheet tools (volume planning, promotions and trade spend), create clear visibility to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) like projected and actual volume, revenue and trade spends, automate key data element transfers by integrating with their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.   

Whether new to market, established across multiple markets, or multi-channel (retail and foodservice), UpClear’s BluePlanner works for plant-based food and beverage brands.  It creates a new level of structure, control, and efficiency in the sales planning and deduction management process, and delivers faster, more thorough insight into sales, trade spending and promotional performance. 

ABOUT UPCLEAR 

UpClear makes Revenue Management software used by Consumer Goods brands around the globe. Its BluePlanner platform is an integrated solution supporting Trade Promotion Management, Trade Promotion Optimization, Integrated Business Planning, and Revenue Growth Management.  

UpClear serves emerging, growing, and established regional and global brands in over 25 countries across the Americas, Europe and Asia. 

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