Natalie Portman joins forces with vegan bacon startup

Natalie Portman joins forces with vegan bacon startup

The Hollywood star Natalie Portman has given the financial backing of Vegan bacon sizzles on a pan in the office of a French startup whose mission to produce the holy grail of the growing plant-based meat industry.

La Vie's founders are banking their success on mastering imitation pork fat, setting it apart from other brands, even though it is not the first to bring plant-based bacon to the market.

The company's chief executive and cofounder, Nicolas Schweitzer, said that we are the only in the world today to have succeeded in developing a vegetable fat that cooks, fries, infuses and browns like animal fat.

After several minutes in the frying pan, the rashers of La Vie's imitation smoked bacon were golden brown, crunchy and similar in taste to the real McCoy.

The chunks of meat and fat also brown nicely, but are a bit salty.

Vincent Poulichet, 32, the company's scientific expert and other cofounder, said we have a reduced salt version as well.

The lardons received a C rating on the France's Nutri-Score food health rating scale, a middle score on the A to E ranking.

The company notes on its website that it is worse than broccoli, but better than pork lardons.

A variety of products and products are being developed by food manufacturers that aim to replace beef, chicken and pork with plant-based ingredients.

Making faux bacon taste like real is another challenge.

Ethan Brown, the head of industry leader Beyond Meat, told the Wall Street Journal last year that making bacon, steak and raw chicken was a holy grail. More and more consumers are trying to reduce or eliminate meat from their diets due to concerns about animal rights and the industry's impact on the environment.

More than one in four consumers in the world are trying to limit their meat intake, in addition to the 10% of people who are vegan or vegetarian, according to a 2021 report by market research firm Euromonitor International.

Market research firm Fairfield expects the market for plant-based meat to grow by nearly 19% annually between 2021 and 2026, to hit $13 billion.

The founders of La Vie believe that conquering consumers' taste is the real key to success.

Schweitzer, 34, said that after three years of research and 5,000 trials we succeeded in the somewhat crazy challenge of reproducing the taste of pork.

The fat in La Vie's imitation bacon and lardons is made mostly from sunflower oil and specially-treated water.

The meat part contains soy protein, salt, natural colorants derived from radish skins and tomatoes, and natural flavors.

Portman joined the company's financial backers after testing La Vie's products at home in the United States.

Schweitzer said that it was by giving people a taste of our products that we managed to put together this extraordinary round of financing.

Oyster Bay, Seventure and Partech, as well as the owners of several successful European startups, such as Oatly, Vinted, Back Market, and BlaBlaCar, joined the funding round.

La Vie believes that bacon is healthier for the planet, the planet, and of course pigs.

The company says its products contain less than a tenth of the saturated fat of real bacon, and their production has fewer carbon emissions and uses less water.

In 2022, La Vie's imitation lardons are already on sale at Carrefour shops, and it aims to get them on the shelves of all major supermarkets in France.

It sees vegan and vegetarian restaurants as a key to getting more potential clients to taste its products.

La Vie, partnering with an established cold cuts and prepared foods manufacturer, plans to double its staff to 60 employees.