LOTUS, a food and drink specialist marketing and PR agency, has been appointed by the US Dry Bean Council (USDBC) as its retained European Representative following a competitive tender process. The brief encompasses trade policy and outreach as well as online and offline promotional activities.

Operating out of London and providing coverage of the EU 27, the LOTUS team will support existing trade events throughout Europe as well as an enhanced programme that includes both policy and promotional expertise. A priority will be to uncover new opportunities and create strategic alliances in the previously underserved UK market.

The timing is ideal to promote US dry beans in the UK and Europe as the region’s consumers increasingly shift towards more plant-based eating and seek sustainable food solutions. Key trend and lifestyle publications like Sheerluxe and the Waitrose Food & Drink Report have declared beans as an ‘it’ food for 2024. According to Waitrose, beans are the “latest cupboard staple to get a foodie renaissance… now centre stage on every fashionable restaurant menu”.  

According to Nielsen data, plant-based consumption across 11 European countries, including the UK, jumped 49% from 2018-2020, to a total sales value of €3.6 billion. As one of the most sustainable plant-based proteins, it is critical that beans play an active role in sector innovation.

The United States is a global leader in dry bean production and export with commercial-scale production in 18 US states. Annually, American farmers plant up to two million acres of dry beans, with the harvested crop valued at over US $1 billion. Approximately one-third of US production is exported, adding over US $400 million in value to these states’ economies. Heralded for their sustainability, US dry beans are one of the most water-efficient proteins and are also nitrogen fixers, increasing biodiversity, improving productivity of farmland, and ultimately playing a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

LOTUS will work together with the US Dry Bean Council to communicate the attributes of US beans; namely their unparalleled nutrition and sustainability along with their versatility and great taste.

Alexa Tonkovich, Managing Director of LOTUS’ Food & Drink Division said, “We are thrilled to be promoting US dry beans and the timing couldn’t be more perfect as UK and EU consumers are focused on sustainable, plant-based nutrition without sacrificing great taste and culinary innovation.”

Rebecca Bratter, Executive Director of the US Dry Bean Council said, “It has long been our vision to re-establish a strong European presence while simultaneously rooting ourselves firmly in the UK market as our second largest US dry bean export market and the most dynamic market for the development of new plant-based foods.”


About LOTUS: LOTUS is a specialist food, drink and travel marketing agency, part of PR Week “Agency of the Decade”, W communications. www.wearelotus.co.uk

About the US Dry Bean Council:

The US Dry Bean Council (USDBC) is a private trade association comprised of leaders in the bean industry with the common goal of promoting the trade of US beans, both in the US and abroad, and educating consumers about the benefits of beans. USDBC works closely with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in overseas markets and provides resources to US exporters and overseas importers. To learn more, visit www.usdrybeans.com  

For more information contact Alexa Tonkovich at alexa@wearelotus.co.uk / tel: 07534407199