Lightlife made a splash final yr with the relaunch of its cleaner label burger and its problem to Past Meat and Inconceivable Meals to additionally undertake extra well known components of their burgers. However it wasn’t the tip of the corporate’s reformulation effort.
Because the late August burger relaunch, Lightlife has been quietly reformulating all of its merchandise to make them cleaner label and fully vegan. As of now, the corporate’s complete portfolio — 19 completely different merchandise — has been reformulated to take out components that buyers might discover off-putting or that got here from animals. All of its objects are additionally licensed kosher and Non-GMO Challenge verified. Gone are components together with carrageenan, eggs and maltodextrin, which have been changed by components together with potato starch, citrus fiber and sugar.
Dan Curtin, president of Lightlife proprietor Greenleaf Meals, mentioned that is a part of the corporate’s dedication to its clients. A survey of greater than 11,500 shoppers performed by Boston Consulting Group final yr for Lightlife confirmed that they needed to have the ability to higher perceive the components deck in plant-based merchandise. The survey impressed the burger revamp, in addition to the modifications introduced right this moment.
“We consider it is a big step,” Curtin mentioned. “It is a agency assertion of the dedication that we fabricated from going to cleaner components.”
Whereas Lightlife had lengthy deliberate the entire portfolio revamp, Curtin mentioned it took a bit longer than anticipated. It could not simply make easy ingredient replacements, and a few of them — particularly carrageenan, which is a well-liked emulsifier — have been trickier to take away than others. The corporate additionally needed to preserve product integrity. Whereas the ingredient deck is vital, so is style and high quality, Curtin mentioned.
“I feel a few of these issues that we eliminated are huge, huge items to take away. Customers, I feel, are going to proceed to pay increasingly consideration to those components. Folks might not even know what these what these components are, so we inform individuals to do your homework, test it out and we’re right here to assist you.”
President, Greenleaf Meals
The most recent revamp goes to be promoted largely on-line and thru social and influencer channels, Curtin mentioned. There aren’t any plans to focus on others within the plant-based meat house for his or her components this time round, although Curtin mentioned that promotion plan paid off. He believes that buyers appreciated that Lightlife defined what it a had completed and what made it distinctive. There have been just a few detractors, he mentioned — individuals who consider that each one plant-based meat corporations must be working collectively to advance the widespread objective of much less conventional meat consumption. Curtin mentioned he engaged with them, and that the clear label effort is what helps set Lightlife aside.
He thinks persevering with the clear label effort will solely make shoppers respect Lightlife extra.
“The proof is within the pudding,” Curtin mentioned. “…I feel a few of these issues that we eliminated are huge, huge items to take away. Customers, I feel, are going to proceed to pay increasingly consideration to those components. Folks might not even know what these what these components are, so we inform individuals to do your homework, test it out and
we’re right here to assist you.”
Lightlife has been paying plenty of consideration to its merchandise and shopper wants, and it’s exhibiting, Curtin mentioned, noting that its model consciousness has tripled prior to now three years. To him, this demonstrates that buyers try plant-based choices and liking them sufficient to maintain coming again. Because the plant-based class will get extra crowded, having clear labels is a technique that Lightlife can stand out, he mentioned. The model is positioning itself as a guilt-free plant-based choice that buyers can perceive and know precisely what they’re consuming.
Lightlife, whose father or mother firm Greenleaf Meals is owned by Canadian meat producer Maple Leaf Meals, is just not in opposition to meat, Curtin mentioned. The model desires to present shoppers choices — a place strengthened by having cleaner labels, he mentioned.
“[We are] companions with them on this — lowering our components, lowering the issues which are in there that aren’t as wholesome for you. I feel that is sending the fitting message,” Curtin mentioned. “Customers need great-tasting merchandise which are good for you, and discovering that stability, I feel, is the proper lane Lightlife goes in.”
Greenleaf Meals — by each its Lightlife and Area Roast Grains Meat manufacturers — is working to develop extra choices for vegan and flexitarian shoppers alike, Curtin mentioned. Underneath the Area Roast banner, the corporate just lately launched pepperoni and a stadium-style scorching canine fabricated from pea protein.
Vegan shoppers, who helped make Lightlife a drive when it began as a tempeh firm in 1979 and lots of who don’t need meat-like merchandise, are nonetheless vital to the model. With a brand new $100 million tempeh plant in Indianapolis, Curtin mentioned there may be plenty of alternative to increase the fermented soy product, which he believes could possibly be “the subsequent kombucha” due to its well being profile and buzz.
Greenleaf additionally has a brand new innovation heart outdoors Chicago, and Curtin mentioned there’s a lot within the works from most of the firm’s product strains.
“We see large alternatives for the long run, for positive,” he mentioned.