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In a bid to encourage new customers, the UK’s THIS has made a first-of-its-kind pledge. For people trying its products in January, any not feeling satisfied with the ‘meatiness’ of the plant-based lines can claim a refund. The move comes during Veganuary and is in line with data that claims 46 percent of Brits are looking to reduce their meat intake.
Meat-lovers, seasoned vegans and curious eaters alike are invited to try THIS’ plant-based range. Featuring various bacon, sausage, chicken, and meatball analogues, the portfolio is aimed squarely at those who enjoy conventional meat. Anybody left wanting after eating THIS products can claim their money back. Plenty of British consumers claim to want to drive down their meat-eating. However, at least four in 10 think they would fail at Veganuary within the first two weeks.
Consumer favourite or confidence tricksters?
Last December THIS embarked on its most audacious marketing ploy to date. It followed a helpline for meat-lovers during Veganuary 2021 and a faux-aggressive anti-tofu campaign as part of the convention circuit. Styling itself as an Italian food company, THIS exhibited at a European food show and hoodwinked thousands of consumers into believing it was selling real meat. “We recently fooled a fourth-generation pig farmer into thinking our sausages were real pork, Andy Shovel, co-founder of THIS said in a statement. “If we can get them on board, we’re confident we can convince the meat-loving masses.”
This confidence is now on display with the brand’s money-back guarantee maneouvre running for the month.
Upping the game
Alongside customer satisfaction pledges, THIS is expanding. A new innovation and testing centre is being slated to open in west London, in spring. The lab has been designed to help double output capacity and support a broadening of the existing product portfolio. One of the newest creations is the patent-pending Fat 2.0. The ingredient is olive-oil based and has been in development for one year.
“There’s nothing like it on the market,” Andy Shovel, co-founder, told The Express. “Fat 2.0 replicates the juiciness [of meat] exactly, but with 89 percent less saturated fat. It has the texture and tasty flavour without the downsides. We want to make food that does not make consumers feel they’re taking a virtuous meal off, Fat 2.0 brings us closer.”
Fat 2.0 will be manufactured in the U.K. by existing suppliers. It is earmarked to be added to pork meatballs and sausages already in the portfolio. Newly improved products will be rolled out in Sainsbury’s and Tesco stores throughout January.
The fat of the industry
Using olive oil as a healthy fat base is not unheard of. Mediterranean diet fans swear by it and Spanish vegan meat brand Heura has already launched its olive-oil-powered chicken alternative. However, the search for a suitable fat component in alt-protein is been a focal point for an increasing number of companies.
Sweden’s Mycorena revealed last year that it has created a fungi-based fat. Designed to make vegan steaks juicier, it is being tested across a range of other products. Burger patties and chicken fillets are included.
Canberra-based Nourish Ingredients announced a breakthrough of its own last year. Following a successful funding round, the company expanded its team to continue developing its precision fermentation technology. Animal-free fats and oils are portfolio focal points, with a view to helping create authentically marbled vegan meats and dairy-free cheeses that can stretch.
All images courtesy of THIS.