Lightlife is reworking its plant-based portfolio to appeal to its growing plant-based consumer base, making sure that the ingredients the company uses to make its staple products are clean, recognizable, and nutritious. The company has reworked the recipes of 19 of its plant-based products to remove ingredients including carrageenan, eggs, and maltodextrin. The move showcases Lightlife’s reformed model that will prioritize a fully plant-based product base.

“Lightlife sells a whopping 21 million products each year, so we’re excited to offer people improved items that taste great and that they can feel good about eating,” President of Greenleaf Foods – Lightlife’s parent company – Dan Curtin said. “We understand that what people really want is balance and choice, and I’m proud to say that through this investment, we are the only plant-based food company to provide people with so many plant-based options.

One of the biggest changes Lightlife made is removing carrageenan from America’s top-selling plant-based hot dog: Smart Dogs. Even though changing the recipe potentially jeopardized a consumer favorite, the company believe it necessary to create a product that would be healthier for the consumer. During taste trials, participants said that they preferred the new Smart Dog compared to the previous carrageenan-included versions.

The new products, reformed with cleaner ingredients, will begin to hit shelves in May. The brand’s reinvented round of products will include Lightlife’s Smart Dogs, Jumbo Smart Dogs, Gimme Lean Sausage, Smart Meatballs, Smart Tenders, Smart Ground Original, Smart Ground Mexican, Smart Sausage Italian, and Smart Sausage Chorizo. Lightlife aims to create a range of products that give consumers easy access to the company’s food while providing full transparency regarding the ingredients.

“Reformulating an already-celebrated product using fewer ingredients – yet improving the quality and taste – is far more difficult than creating a brand-new item from scratch,” Chief R&D and Food Technology Officer at Greenleaf Foods Jitendra Sagili said. “We’ve done a considerable amount of consumer testing that shows the taste, texture, and nutrition all outperform previous versions of these Lightlife products.”

Before the expansive roll-out, Lightlife refined its Italian Sausage, Ground, Bratwurst Sausage, Breakfast Patties, and Plant-Based Burger in 2020. The company offers more plant-based products than its competitors and claims to have plans to develop more delicious plant-based foods for its growing consumer base. The company’s products can be found nationwide at more than 30,000 retailers. Lightlife wants its followers to know the company is here to support nutrition and individual health, altering its products to meet what customers want.

“I think some of those things that we removed are big, big pieces to remove,” Curtin said. “Consumers, I think, are going to continue to pay more and more attention to these ingredients. People may not even know what these ingredients are, so we tell people to do your homework, check it out, and we’re here to support you.”


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