Lightlife Burger and Lightlife Ground products will be available in other retailers including Albertsons, Haggen, Jewel, Pavilions, Safeway, Vons, Wegmans, and hundreds of natural foods stores in the U.S. In Canada, these items will be on shelf in over 3,400 stores, including Federated Coop, Loblaws, Longo’s, Metro, Save-On-Foods and Sobeys.
The Lightlife Burger and Lightlife Ground products are part of a larger launch, that also includes Lightlife Bratwurst Sausage and Italian Sausage, which will hit shelves in May at select retailers.
Lightlife products have the appearance, texture, and aroma of traditional meat with all plant based ingredients, claimed the company. The ingredient deck for its plant-based burger, which contains (20g of protein, 0 grams of cholesterol, and 2.5 grams of saturated fat) includes water, pea protein, expeller pressed canola oil, modified corn starch, modified cellulose, and yeast extract,
Maple Leaf Foods announced last month that it is investing $310m to build the largest plant-based protein production facility in North America to increase the company's profitability and competitiveness in the refrigerated plant protein market where it's facing increased competition from other brands such as Beyond Meat, which filed its IPO last week and has seen its stock share price soar +163% in its first day as a public company.
“This launch is very exciting time for the business and the brand,” said Dan Curtin, President of Greenleaf Foods, the parent company of Lightlife.
“We’ve said it before: we didn’t join the plant-based category overnight—we’ve long been pioneering the industry. With this in mind, it’s wonderful to be able to see years of expertise, innovation and passion come to fruition when this groundbreaking product hits shelves this month.”
'This market is growing at simply incredible rates'
Speaking to analysts on Maple Leaf Foods' Q1, 2019 earnings call, CEO Michael McCain said: "As a new frontier of protein, this market is growing at simply incredible rates...
"In some cases, and I think this is an important point, it appears as if some of the new entrants are running a technology stock playbook, and we need to be cautious not to be constrained by a classic food company playbook."
According to Nielsen data compiled by GFI, retail sales of plant-based meat grew 23% in the 52 weeks to August 11, 2018, while total US retail food sales grew 2% over the same period.