The French brand La Vie continues to get people talking about it and its “vegetable bacon”. After an initial fundraising of 25 million euros, the young shooter recently launched her first national poster campaign to sell the merits of her products. On the occasion of April 1, La Vie decided to surf on this growing visibility to tackle a thorny topic: the censorship of vegan products. And as usual, the start-up has put humor in the service of its comments, in a post worth the detour.
The shape, the colour, the taste… The “vegetable bacon bits” from the French brand La Vie have all the “real bacon bits”, minus the animal suffering. So much so that they convinced one of the most selective juries on the subject: the audience of the Agricultural Show 2022. But one detail does not come through: their name. On Friday, April 1, 2022, La Vie announced on Instagram that its plant-based alternatives to bacon strips would be renamed “vegetable sticks having the taste and consistency of a pork specialty whose name must not be pronounced”. A way for the young French shooter to calm a “controversy” that is said to have grown around his products on the internet.
A semantic debate that is not new
“We call on our colleagues in the food industry to join us in the camp of reason by renaming their pig matches (which cannot be lit) and their ham dice (which prevents playing 421). We also encourage producers of chocolate eggs, peanut butter, body milk and seafood to think about the danger of misleading consumers,” we can read on the Instagram post of the brand. A statement that refers directly to the arguments of meat manufacturers, their lobbies and certain politicians, according to which the use of meat terms such as “sausage” or “steak” to designate vegan products misleads customers.
“These lobbies know very well that through these terms people want to consume products of plant origin and so they are fighting to limit this thriving appeal.”
Laure Ducos, Agriculture and Food campaign manager at Greenepace, interviewed by Vegego
The semantic discussion between meat manufacturers and vegan brands is not new and has led to new legislation, especially in France. On May 27, 2020, the National Assembly finally adopted the bill “relating to the transparency of food information”. This text prohibits the use of animal names (steak, tenderloin, sausage, etc.) for vegetable products, but is not yet applied. At European level, Parliament rejected a text banning the designations “steak” or “burger” for vegetarian products, while it approved an amendment banning the designations “yoghurt”, “cheese” or “cream” for vegan products.
La Vie, on the other hand, would rather laugh about it than cry about it. On April 2, the brand announced that the name change of its ‘lardons’ was an April Fool’s Day joke. †Our vegetable bacon remains vegetable bacon. Because it tastes like bacon, the color of bacon, the consistency of bacon, except it’s made with plants. Bacon, Vegetables”the start-up wrote in a new Instagram post.
Rather simple, basic finally.