No more ‘meat’ names for plant-based food

Angel investors, venture capitalists and investments from agrifood giants have helped boost growth rate of global plant-based meat-like food industry

France will ban the use of meat names like “steak” and “sausage” for plant-based protein food from October, according to a decree published on Thursday.

The move aims to avoid confusion over the meat alternatives, reports Canada-based CTV News.

It is the first European Union country to impose such a restriction. In 2020, EU lawmakers rejected a similar proposal, backed by farmers.
The market for plant-based meat-like food has surged, attracting major investment from global agrifood groups hoping to capitalize on a trend towards healthy eating, including less red meat.

“It will not be possible to use sector-specific terminology traditionally associated with meat and fish to designate products that do not belong to the animal world and which, in essence, are not comparable,” the order reads.

The regulation only applies to products made in France, and the country’s largest farm lobby, FNSEA, said it had not gone far enough as it has left the door open to imports.

The country’s meat industry association Interbev welcomed the implementation of the law initially adopted in 2020, just after the end of the pandemic-induced lockdown.

“This provision is a first step on French territory, a pioneer in the protection of its names, which should be extended at European level,” it said.

Words like “butter”, “milk” and “cheese” are already banned at the European level for products that are not of animal origin.

The term “burger”, used by many brands including US firms Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods and Burger King to attract consumers, would still be allowed as it did not specifically refer to meat, an Interbev spokesperson said.

Angel investors, venture capitalists and increased investments from agrifood giants such as Nestle, Cargill and Danone have helped boost the growth rate of the global plant-based meat-like food industry.