Thanks Plants’ Founder, Aisling Cullen Leads the Way in Redefining Food, Environment, and Conscious Consumption
World Trade Center Dublin extends congratulations to Aisling Cullen, the visionary Founder of Thanks Plants, for her remarkable success in promoting the passion for plant-based cooking. Aisling’s dedication to crafting wholesome and flavorful meatless options using whole food ingredients has truly set a new standard. As her brand continues to flourish, WTC Dublin is thrilled to actively contribute to her global expansion, supporting her in achieving her export goals.
Aisling Cullen, Founder of Thanks Plants is leading the charge in sustainable plant-based living. Her unwavering commitment to the “Plants for the Planet” philosophy is reshaping how we think about food and the environment. In an exclusive interview with World Trade Center Dublin, Aisling reveals the genesis of her transformative philosophy and how it shapes innovative plant-based products. She debunks misconceptions about plant-based foods, showcasing how locally sourced ingredients can have a global impact.
Beyond products, Aisling envisions a transparent landscape where informed choices thrive. Thanks Plants’ authenticity-centered approach bucks the trend of artificial additives. Aisling’s vision extends beyond her company, ensuring that plant-based shopping means nourishing families and the planet.
Sustainability is tangible for Thanks Plants, with participation in Ireland’s Origin Green program and consistent surpassing of sustainability targets. The future holds exciting novelties, as Aisling focuses on introducing new products that celebrate the fusion of plant ingredients and modern proteins. An upcoming centerpiece steak product exemplifies this, uniting high protein content with visible vegetables. Aisling Cullen’s journey is an inspiration, not only for her innovative products but also for her unwavering dedication to sustainability and the “Plants for the Planet” philosophy.
This interview offers insights into her beliefs and practices, guiding us toward a more conscious future.
Can you share the inspiration behind your “Plants for the Planet” philosophy at Thanks Plants? How does this philosophy drive your approach to developing plant-based products?
We wanted to create some information for our website and social media about the environmental benefits of plant-based eating. There is a huge misconception when it comes to plant-based foods where some ingredients might be imported vs eating local meat and dairy. Being an independent environmental management company, they compared our products to locally produced meat products and the results were quite striking. For example, if you swap out our vegan sausages for locally produced pork sausages, you will save more water than if you showered every day for 2 weeks. Or if everyone in Ireland ate a plant-based diet once a week, the reduction would equate to removing all the cars in Dublin for 2.5 months.
Thanks Plants is known for its unique plant-based products. Could you highlight one or two flagship products that embody your philosophy and explain how they contribute to both consumer health and environmental sustainability?
We make our products using wholesome plant-based ingredients. Other companies tend to put in ingredients that the customer does not really understand much, or they are not familiar store cupboard ingredients. We use cannellini beans, pearl barley, vegetables, and spices as the base for many of our products, with wheat protein to give them their meaty texture. Our best-selling product is the Frankfurters, which are great for families, and our Everyday Roast is a more unique product for Sunday lunches and roast dinners.
As the Founder of Thanks Plants, how do you envision the future of plant-based products in the market? How do you see your company’s role in shaping this landscape?
We want to bring ingredients to the table that everyone understands and feels confident to cook with. We do not want to load our products full of artificial ingredients and additives like other companies do. We see the future of shopping in the plant-based fridge as a wholesome one, where you can be confident that you are buying something good for you and your family.
Sustainability is a key concern for conscious consumers. How does Thanks Plants integrate sustainability into its product development, sourcing, and packaging practices?
We are part of Ireland’s Origin Green programme which holds us accountable to the packaging and ingredients we source. Each year we try to do better and beat our targets in how we produce sustainably.
The plant-based industry is rapidly evolving. Could you provide insights into any upcoming new product lines or innovative offerings that Thanks Plants has in the pipeline?
We are working on several new products and redeveloping and improving some existing ones. Our focus for NPD is not to create meat-mimics, but rather introducing lots of plant ingredients mixed with modern proteins. For example, we have developed a centrepiece steak product, and the veggies are very visible throughout. It’s not trying to be a beef steak, but it is a high protein alternative for lunch or dinner.
Consumer education plays a significant role in promoting plant-based lifestyles. How does Thanks Plants engage with its customers to raise awareness about the benefits of plant-based products and the “plants for the plant” philosophy?
Some of the best PR (Public Relations) we have gotten is when a journalist or social media influencer has tried our products and has loved them and wanted to write or post about them as a result. We, of course, have our own social media channels, but if someone with 30k or 40k followers who have never heard about Thanks Plants posts about us, that significantly expands the number of people that we can reach. It is also great to see non-vegans post about our products because they think they are tasty and nutritionally strong. You don’t need meat on your plate to have a really enjoyable meal.