CHICAGO–Lightlife® (“Lightlife”), owned by Greenleaf Foods, SPC, has transformed its portfolio of products to meet high consumer demand for plant-based food that’s made with simple, recognizable ingredients. In just over one year, the brand has heavily invested to completely overhaul 19 of its plant-based products, removing ingredients like carrageenan, eggs and maltodextrin, and raising the bar for other brands in the category to do the same.
Notably, Lightlife removed carrageenan from its beloved Smart Dogs®, which is America’s #1 selling plant-based hot dog.1 In the final round of consumer tests, adults and kids overwhelmingly preferred the flavors, texture, and overall experience of the new Smart Dog when compared to previous versions of the product.2
“Lightlife sells a whopping 21 million products each year, so we’re excited to offer people improved items that taste great and that they can feel good about eating,” said Dan Curtin, President of Greenleaf Foods. “We understand that what people really want is balance and choice, and I’m proud to say that through this investment, we are the only plant-based food company to provide people with so many plant-based options.”
Last year, Lightlife research revealed that growth in the plant-based sector has been largely driven by the flexitarian consumer, and that people’s top three reasons for choosing plant-based protein are health, sustainability and variety. Even so, consumers’ needs went unmet a shocking 98% of the time when looking for plant-based protein with simple, recognizable ingredients.3
To meet that enormous need, Lightlife, a carbon neutral company, committed to delivering better-tasting plant-based protein with simple ingredients, easy-to-understand nutritional claims, and a transparent production process. Doubling down on its efforts from 2020, the brand has reinvented a second wave of products. The newly-reformulated products hitting retail shelves this May include: Lightlife Smart Dogs®, Lightlife Jumbo Smart Dogs®, Lightlife Gimme Lean® Sausage, Lightlife Smart Meatballs®, Lightlife Smart Tenders®, Lightlife Smart Ground® Original, Lightlife Smart Ground® Mexican, Lightlife Smart Sausage® Italian, and Lightlife Smart Sausage® Chorizo.
“Reformulating an already-celebrated product using fewer ingredients—yet improving the quality and taste—is far more difficult than creating a brand-new item from scratch,” said Jitendra Sagili, Chief R&D and Food Technology Officer at Greenleaf Foods. “We’ve done a considerable amount of consumer testing that shows the taste, texture and nutrition all outperform previous versions of these Lightlife products.”4
Lightlife reformulated its Plant-Based Burger, Ground, Italian Sausage, Bratwurst Sausage, Breakfast Links and Breakfast Patties in 2020, and now boasts more vegan-certified and non-GMO plant-based protein products than top competitors. In addition to its traditional meat analogue products, Lightlife produces the #1 selling tempeh in North America, a highly-nutritious food that’s naturally made with just three ingredients.5
Lightlife products can be found at more than 30,000 stores throughout the United States and Canada, including retailers like Kroger, Meijer Corp, Publix, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers Market, Target, Walmart, Wegmans, Whole Foods, Albertsons, Ahold and Wakefern. For more information, visit Lightlife.com and follow @LightlifeFoods on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
About Greenleaf Foods, SPC
Greenleaf Foods, SPC, is transforming plant-based protein with a wide array of delicious and innovative products that satisfy consumers interested in adding protein variety to their diets. Our leading brands include Lightlife® (“Lightlife”) and Field Roast™ (“Field Roast”). Together, these brands are delighting loyal, longtime fans and enticing new ones who never knew plant-based protein could taste so good. The Lightlife and Field Roast portfolios feature nearly 50 products and represent a leading market position in the refrigerated, plant-based protein category in the U.S. Greenleaf Foods, SPC is a wholly owned, independent subsidiary of Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (TSX:MFI).
1 SPINS: L52, MULO + Natural Channel, Unit Sales.
2 Greenleaf Foods MMR Express Survey. Final data, collected 1/7/2021. N=150.
3 GL DCG Survey. Final data, collected 8/9/19. N = 7,000; BCG analysis
4 Greenleaf Foods MMR Express Survey. Final data, collected 1/7/2021. N=150.
5 SPINS: L52, MULO + Natural Channel, Unit Sales.