As of October 1, 2022, plant-based products that imitate animal products will no longer be able to use meat-related names in France. Find out why this decree went into effect and how brands are adapting.
Article Summary: Plant-based products can no longer use meat-related names
- Why plant-based products can't no longer be refered by animal products names?
- Is a meat-based product with plant proteins affected by this decree?
- How do plant-based brands adapt their communications?
Why plant-based products can't no longer be refered by animal products names?
Since October 1, 2022, plant-based protein products can no longer use names that are associated to meat (steak, bacon, sausage, etc.). This new regulation was established by the decree published in the Journal officiel of June 30, 2022.
The text does not only restrict the labeling of plant products. More broadly, it "frames the use of names designating products of animal origin and foodstuffs containing them to describe, market or promote foodstuffs incorporating plant proteins" (free translation of “encadre l'utilisation de dénominations désignant des produits d'origine animale et les denrées alimentaires en contenant pour décrire, commercialiser ou promouvoir des denrées incorporant des protéines végétales”).
Thus, it is no longer possible for brands to use "terminology specific to sectors traditionally associated with meat and fish to designate products not belonging to the animal kingdom" (free translation of “la terminologie propre aux secteurs traditionnellement associés à la viande et au poisson pour désigner des produits n’appartenant pas au règne animal”) and this, even in promotional campaigns.
This is a victory for the professionals of the animal sector who believe that this text brings "transparency of information to the consumer as well as the preservation of our products and know-how" (Jean-François Guihard, president of Interbev, the national interprofessional association of livestock and meat - free translation of “transparence de l’information au consommateur ainsi que de la préservation de nos produits et savoir-faire”).
Is a meat-based product with plant proteins affected by this decree?
The decree establishes the maximum vegetable protein content that a meat preparation must not exceed in order to continue to use the denominations related to meat. Thus, a minced meat preparation must not exceed 7% of vegetable protein, while lardons or raw hams must not exceed 0.5%.
How do plant-based brands adapt their communications?
Faced with this new regulation, brands are obliged to adapt their communication campaigns with the help of French language subterfuges.
HappyVore (formerly known as Les Nouveaux Fermiers), accompanied by the agency Rosa Paris, didn't waste any time: a few days after the promulgation of the decree, they launched a small communication action full of humor and piquancy to denounce the absurdity of this new law. The four visuals present the HappyVore products and "their denominations" before and after October 1st 2022.
Left : "2 plant-based & gourmet steaks"
Right : "2 flattened plant based spheres of similar sizes & gourmet"
Left : "4 plant-based chipos (sausages) with Provencal herb"
Right : "4 plant-based mid-length mid-round tubes with Provencal herb"
Left : "4 plant-based & spicy merguez (sausages)"
Right : "4 plant-based & spicy round-tipped cylindrical rods"
Left : "Plant-based & gourmet nuggets"
Right : "Plant-based & gourmet pieces sometimes hexagonal, sometimes polygonal"