How Lightlife Made Plant-Based Protein Mainstream

“I know that people are influenced most by their friends, and Social Nature engages more people than traditional ads. I will continue to use Social Nature year-over-year.” Brad Lahrman, VP Marketing at Lightlife


With a mission to make great-tasting vegetarian food “for a better you and a better planet”, Lightlife, a leader in the vegan and vegetarian category, came to Social Nature with a very specific ask: To help make their plant-based protein products become mainstream.

Knowing that 60% of our natural product consumer community are Millennial Moms, Lightlife decided on an unusual — but genius — approach to working with us: Rather than promoting their newest products, they put their entire marketing budget behind their one best-selling product.


Make Lightlife plant-based protein mainstream


Make consumers advocates for plant-based protein through trial and awareness


  • Appeal to Millennial Moms who are looking for healthier options for their families
  • Convert them using a family favorite: hot dogs
  • Inspire them to share on social media with recipes and a contest #mustbemeat



Lightlife’s Smart Dogs were already leaders in the plant-based market, so they knew that they had a winning product. But like many companies, they also knew that the key to becoming a household brand sits in the hands of Millennial Moms who are looking for healthier family-friendly meal options.

 I love Social Nature’s combination of targeted trial and word-of-mouth marketing. Through the social sharing we can influence more consumers than traditional sampling. It’s a great bang for my buck.” – Brad Lahrman, VP Marketing at Lightlife

Having worked with Social Nature for the past 3 years, Lightlife trusted us to manage this national campaign from end-to-end. We used our best in class geo-targeting functionality to activate Millennial Moms who live close to Lightlife’s existing store distribution. This level of geo-targeting not only ensured that it would be easy for our Moms to fit picking up the product into their busy schedules, but it also helped show them — not just tell them — where they can buy it next time.

Next, Social Nature mailed a Lightlife trial package to 7,000 flexitarian and Vegetarian Millennial Moms across the United States. The trial package included a free product coupon, a personalized store locator, recipe ideas, and a contest inviting them to share their #mustbemeat moment on social media. Lightlife followed the activity in real-time via our dashboard, which shares everything from the Millennial Moms’ product reviews and purchase intent to their social posts and influence rates.


In pairing their best-selling product with Millennial Moms, who are natural product consumers, Lightlife used Social Nature to target — and win over — Millennial Moms across America. After seeing a sales lift in retailers across the country, Lightlife has secured Social Nature as a “year-over-year marketing line item” and a key part of their marketing strategy going forward.

Since working with Social Nature, Lightlife has officially gone mainstream and was acquired by Maple Leaf Foods in 2017. This year Lightlife will be using Social Nature to launch into the Canadian market!


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