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How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries

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Hell Pizza said it launched its plant-based Burger Pizza product out of concerns for the future of the planet. According to the company, 80% of consumers did not have an issue, and 70% would order the pizza again.

BETH DALEY: ‘Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in New Zealand. Yet, others did not mind – or even appreciated – the move. The Commerce Commission, however, warned that the stunt likely breached consumer protection law…

In October, the Commerce Commission warned the pizza chain that it had probably breached the Fair Trading Act 1986. In particular, it had likely made false or misleading representations. The Commerce Commission stated that a “burger traditionally includes a patty of minced beef” and “medium-rare is a term associated with meat, usually beef”…

The traditional need to protect consumers from deceptive practices is clear. That said, it is perhaps also time to nudge consumers to reconsider their preconceptions and consumption of meat. Hell Pizza said it launched its plant-based meat product out of concerns for the future of the planet. According to the company, 80% of consumers did not have an issue with being duped, and 70% would order the pizza again…

Some companies have already stated their aspiration to completely replace animals as a food production technology by 2035. The meat industry is likely to use its power to protect its interests. But these interests are not the only ones that should be voiced and considered.

Instead of merely criticising companies that offer meat alternatives and use innovative marketing tools to do so, we should embrace these initiatives as an opportunity to rethink some of our conventions. We need to adapt to new realities in ways that make our societies more ethical, while also encouraging consumers to be more mindful of the environment and health-related aspects of their foods’.  SOURCE…

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