Greenleaf Foods, owners of two heritage plant-based meat brands in Lightlife and Field Roast, has named Endeavor agency 160over90 as its agency of record across all marketing services. The move solidifies a relationship between the two companies that started in 2019 and now expands to help the brands gain greater recognition in a mushrooming plant-based meat marketplace.
Greenleaf Foods has worked with 160over90 since 2019 on a number of campaigns and projects, including a Lightlife campaign with Kristin Bell and Dax Shepard, and other campaigns featuring stars and influencers Lily Singh, Action Bronson and Roy Choi. The agency also helped Field Roast and Little Caesars to launch the “Planteroni” pizza, made with plant-based pepperoni.
The AOR designation cements the relationship between the two entities and allows 160over90 to help grow these heritage vegan and vegetarian brands that don’t have the big name recognition of higher profile brands Impossible and Beyond.
“For the last couple of years, we’ve been taking these OG vegan and vegetarian brands and completely repositioning and renovating them,” Adam Grogan, chief operating officer of Greenleaf Foods, told Adweek.
Grogan said that the company has completely revamped the food at Greenleaf, based on what he called an “extensive and exhaustive piece of consumer research in plant-based” products, done in tandem with Boston Consulting Group. The study interviewed 11,500 consumers to better understand their values and expectations from plant-based protein, and found that consumers’ needs went unmet 98% of the time when looking for plant-based protein with simple, recognizable ingredients.
The partnering of 160over90 with Greenleaf will help pivot from heritage brands into ones that he hopes will be disruptive in the category. To that end, Lightlife’s president recently took on the bigger brands with an open letter calling Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat “food tech” companies that “attempt to mimic meat at any cost,” then announcing that Lightlife had reformulated its products and winnowed them down to 11 ingredients.
A new start for a heritage brand
The first effort by Greenleaf and 160over90 will be a new campaign for 40-plus year old Lightlife with messaging around clean eating and better tasting options with simple ingredients.
The campaign insight is that simple things make us thrive. “We can hook that to our brands and around the simplicity of our ingredients, and the fact that eating more plant-based also supports consumers’ ability to thrive, whether it be through health and wellness, whether it be through supporting the environment, or even trying something new for the first time,” said Grogan.
“When you see the first commercials, they will be very simple. They’ll be a breath of fresh air from everything else coming out,” Nick Phelps, evp client service at 160over90, told Adweek.
The AOR designation gives Greenleaf access to the full slate of Endeavor options, including its deep connections to celebrities, as well as the agency’s “architecture sessions,” which gathers a large group of people from all across Endeavor to connect brands with all the abilities, events and tactics available at the agency.
Grogan and Phelps said that the upcoming advertising and branding will be full 360 efforts and will move fast, because the plant-based meat category is growing so rapidly. Greenleaf and its parent company Maple Leaf Foods have invested over a billion dollars in the plant-based protein space in an effort to get the people to eat more plants, and its hoping that the new partnership with 160over90 will help that investment pay off.