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Oscar Mayer May Fake Itself Out

Oct. 27, 2022
Good analogue products could weaken bacon’s appeal to backsliding vegans.

Oscar Mayer wants to give vegetarians and vegans a break.

The Kraft Heinz unit imagines that these poor people are constantly tormented by the smell and the thought of bacon. So it will “celebrate” World Vegan Day, Nov. 1, by removing any mentions of bacon from its paid and social media accounts for the day.

Oscar Mayer is purportedly basing this move on the results of a survey that asked a thousand consumers about their attitudes toward bacon. According to the results, 53% of vegans have abandoned their diet for bacon; 68% of them wish they could eat bacon at least once a week; and 50% dreaded eschewing bacon when they made the decision to go vegan. Oscar Mayer is “encouraging” its social media followers to give up bacon for the day.

In a statement quoted in Adweek that drips with smugness, an Oscar Mayer spokesperson said, “Deliciously tempting bacon, smoked with real wood smoke for 12 hours, can be tough for those who wish to give up meat. That’s why we’re doing our part to celebrate World Vegan Day by removing the bacon-y temptation our advertising creates.”

There’s also some kind of sweepstakes involved; click the link in the above paragraph if you want details. I’m more interested in something that Oscar Mayer isn’t taking into account: Vegans who crave bacon have an alternative to falling off their diets.

Plant-based bacon has been available for years from multiple manufacturers, from little boutique companies up to JBS SA, which markets it under the Planterra brand. I’ve never tasted it, but from every account I’ve read, it’s the closest to the real thing of any category of meat substitute. It can even fool people who should avoid it because of an allergy.

So don’t get too smug, Oscar Mayer. People like bacon, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they like, or have to like, pork.

About the Author

Pan Demetrakakes | Senior Editor

Pan has written about the food and beverage industry for more than 25 years. His areas of coverage have included formulations, processing, packaging, marketing and retailing. Pan worked for Food Processing Magazine for six years in the 1990s, where he was operations editor (his current role), touring dozens of food plants of every description. He has also worked for Packaging and Food & Beverage Packaging magazines, the latter as chief editor, during which he won three ASBPE awards. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a BA in communications.

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