FMCG News South Africa

#Newsmaker: Nqabisa Gabriel on driving sales of plant-based protein products

Infinite Foods, a distributor, licensor and manufacturer of plant-based protein products, has appointed Nqabisa Gabriel as its area sales manager for Gauteng.
Nqabisa Gabriel
Nqabisa Gabriel

Armed with a BCom in Marketing Communication and an Honours degree in Marketing Management, Gabriel has spent more than 10 years working in the sales environment, with six of those spent in managerial roles.

Now, she'll be driving the sales of Infinite Foods' portfolio of plant-based protein brands in the Gauteng region.

If the company name doesn't sound all that familiar, perhaps 'Beyond Burger' will. Reported to look, cook and taste just like real beef, the plant-based Beyond Burger is arguably the most famous packaged meat alternative ever made, sitting comfortably on the plates on vegans and flexitarians alike.

#Newsmaker: Nqabisa Gabriel on driving sales of plant-based protein products

It's the flagship product of US-based producer Beyond Meat, and Infinite Foods is responsible for bringing it to local dinner tables.

Here, Gabriel chats about her new role at the company and the growth of plant-based meat alternatives.

Congrats on your appointment! Tell us a bit about your experience, and what you bring to the Infinite Foods team.

Thank you, I have over 10 years sales experience predominantly in the FMCG sector. I’m really excited to bring my experience, best practice sales, customer service, and route to market knowledge to this dynamic new company.

What excites you most about joining the company?

I truly believe in the products and vision of the company. I think it’s imperative to introduce great tasting, alternative food products to the market that have both health and environmental benefits. Infinite is a relatively new organisation so there’s an opportunity to grow and prosper with the company.

What’s at the top of your to-do list in your new role?

Drive product penetration and sales into the market.

#Newsmaker: Nqabisa Gabriel on driving sales of plant-based protein products

What do you believe to be the key drivers behind the gradual move to a more plant-based diet in South Africa?

The world and South Africa are becoming more health-conscious, and we are becoming more aware of what impacts our environment negatively. I think we as South Africans are more invested in our health and well-being as a whole, as we generally just want to feel better.

Considering that South Africa (and Africa in general) is quite a meat-loving region, how does Infinite Foods plan to grow market share here?

It all starts with great taste! We aim to be the global category leader in each plant-based alternative category. We are driven to find the best plant alternatives that taste and satisfies like the real thing. One of our key products, the Beyond Burger, tastes, cooks and satisfies like a real beef burger. So we aim to appeal to those who enjoy the taste of meat.

How do you think the traditional sales and marketing of plant-based foods can be improved upon?

The traditional market segment need to be redefined with new content. Traditionally these kinds of products were targeted mainly at vegans/vegetarians. We are committed to looking at different markets with our sales and marketing, which includes the above sector but also others like the health-conscious, flexitarians, lactose intolerant, keto-dieters, etc.

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to for work?

I'm currently reading the Greatest Network Marketer. It shares some useful principles in the sales environment which helps motivate me.

What’s your most prized piece of career advice?

Skills and competency can be learned, however, attitude is pivotal to a successful career.

Stay up to date with Gabriel and Infinite Foods on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Lauren Hartzenberg

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