Maple Leaf - embracing "real food movement"

Maple Leaf - embracing "real food movement"

Canada-based Maple Leaf Foods is revamping all the products sold under its namesake brand to embrace the "real food movement" and incorporate "premium" meat and natural ingredients across its product range.

The initiative by the protein-centric packaged foods company will see no artificial preservatives, flavours, colours or sweeteners used in products sold under the Maple Leaf brand.

The group said it wanted to increase transparency by providing customers with "legible, pronounceable ingredients that consumers trust and can find in their pantry". 

Starting immediately, Maple Leaf said in a statement yesterday (7 May)  it has launched a "refreshed" namesake brand including a new logo and packaging, as well as easy-to-read ingredients lists. 

Maple Leaf said it is taking the measures as part of a commitment to maintaining a sustainable planet, including reducing its environmental impact on air, water and land; being a leader in animal care; and advancing food security for Canadians. 

Michael McCain, president and chief executive of the Ontario-based firm,  said "Consumer expectations are changing, and we are rising to the challenge. Protein is foundational to healthy bodies, and Maple Leaf will stand for delicious food made of real, simple or natural ingredients that parents can feel good about feeding their families. We have committed ourselves to a radical new food manifesto which reflects this revolution and defines the standards this brand will live by." 

Maple Leaf recently took an interest in insect-based ingredients by taking a minority investment in Entomo Farms of the US, a producer of a "nutritious and sustainable alternative to traditional meat protein" with its cricket and mealworm powders and whole roasted insects.  

And late last year, the company entered an agreement to buy Field Roast Grain Meat Co as part of a strategy to expand its product range in the US. Field Roast supplies grain-based meat and vegan cheese products to the North American market, including sausages, frankfurters, burgers, deli slices and the Chao brand of cheese.