Faux-Meat Brands Start a Public Beef Over ‘Clean’ Ingredients


The battle for flexitarian shoppers isn’t simply taking place in supermarkets and eating places. It’s reached the nationwide media by way of a full-blown public feud involving a number of fake meat manufacturers.

Identify-calling and clapbacks have ensued.

There’s even a backlash to the backlash, with a startup firm defending two of the class’s heavyweights and hailing them for having ushered meatless meat into the mainstream.

Lightlife set off the latest chain of occasions with an open letter derisively calling Not possible Meals and Past Meat “meals tech” corporations that “try to mimic meat at any value.” Lightlife’s major gripe with its better-known rivals: They’re making frankenfood with prolonged lists of unrecognizable components. 

“Sufficient with the hyper-processed components, GMOs, pointless components and fillers, and pretend blood,” stated the full-page advert, printed in The New York Instances, USA Right this moment and different publications and signed by Lightlife’s president Dan Curtin. 

Customers “deserve plant-based protein that’s developed in a kitchen, not a lab,” in accordance with the “Clear Break” marketing campaign, which goals to name consideration to Lightlife’s newly reformulated merchandise which have 11 components (down from 14). The model’s letter particularly calls out Not possible’s use of “synthetically produced soy leghemoglobin,” often called “heme,” a defining attribute that makes the model’s burgers seem to bleed like beef merchandise.

The Silicon Valley-based Not possible, no stranger to firing again at its critics, referred to as the Lightlife letter “a disingenuous, determined disinformation marketing campaign” that used “a logic-defying idea with zero relevance to well being or product high quality.” Saying that buyers care about “style, vitamin and sustainability,” the model stated that “heme” is a generally used, FDA-approved ingredient.

Not possible’s execs, in a weblog put up on Medium, in contrast the Lightlife assault to “meat-industry propaganda” that has been “financed by one of many largest animal agriculture corporations in North America.”

Lightlife is owned by Maple Leaf Meals, based mostly in Canada, with conventional meat manufacturers like Schneiders, Swift and Prime in its portfolio, together with plant-based manufacturers below the Greenleaf banner.

Past Meat, one in all 2019’s splashiest IPOs, defended itself in opposition to Lightlife’s claims with this assertion: “If Lightlife took a take a look at our components, they’d see that our meals is created from easy, plant-based components. With no GMOs. No artificial components. No carcinogens. No hormones. No antibiotics. No ldl cholesterol. Our meals are designed to have the identical style and texture as animal-based meat, giving extra shoppers extra choices which are higher for them and the planet. We imagine it’s the way forward for meals.” 

The model hoping everybody can get alongside

And after the preliminary flap, Planterra Meals waded into the fray. The corporate, a Colorado-based newcomer to the ultra-hot area, purchased its personal full-page advert within the New York Instances final week to handle the “tried take-downs.”

The letter, from CEO Darcey Macken, notes that plant-based meat has been round “for many years” however salutes Not possible and Past as leaders who “shined a light-weight on this area and helped elevate it to the place it’s at present.”

“It could appear unusual to provide a shout-out to rivals,” Macken instructed Adweek, “however we felt it was value acknowledging the function Not possible and Past have performed in broadening consciousness” of the class.

Gamers in various meat, whether or not rising or established, “ought to be inclusive in pushing the class ahead,” she stated, whereas noting that back-biting could also be unavoidable.

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