When it set out to create authentic plant-based meat alternatives, French startup 77 Foods made a key realisation — fat is important. This ultimately led it to develop vegan bacon that it claims is the “yummiest on the market”. While companies such as Nourish Ingredients and Hoxton Farms are making fat via fermentation or growing it from cells, 77 Foods wanted its fat to be plant-based. It started out by creating highly realistic “pork” fat made from sunflower oil, an invention that led it to win Unilever’s Innovation Challenge. After developing the pork fat, 77 Foods began using it to make plant-based bacon and pork lardons. These products are already available through private label and foodservice channels, but not for retail.
In a blind taste-test carried out by the company, the results were staggering — 92 percent of participants preferred 77 Foods’ bacon over the conventional variety. Now, the company says it is ready to market the bacon internationally. “At 77 FOODS, after 2 years of intense R&D, we’ve finally achieved a Herculean feat: a mind-blowing, 100% plant-based bacon,” said co-founder and CEO Nicolas Schweitzer on LinkedIn. “It tastes freaking amazing and is significantly more sustainable than its pork equivalent. Now we are hiring a team of marketing rockstars to help us push this product — and the upcoming ones — globally.”