LONDON — Digital and social specialist Coolr and consumer PR agency Pangolin have won the UK account for plant-based bacon brand La Vie after a competitive pitch.

The French-owned brand, which was founded in 2019 and started distribution in French supermarket Carrefour a year ago, announced a successful Series A funding round in January this year totalling €25 million, including backing from actor Natalie Portman and Oatly chairman Eric Melloul. The funding will be partly used to develop new product lines, with the aim of helping consumers transition to more plant-based foods.

La Vie has also forged a partnership with Burger King France and plans to quickly expand beyond France and the UK into other European markets.

For the launch of its soy and pea protein-based bacon and lardons in the UK this month, Coolr is leading on the UK social media programme, while Pangolin will be focusing on earned media opportunities across consumer and trade media. The launch campaign includes integrated PR, social and OOH.

Coolr founder Adam Clyne said: La Vie is a brand famous for developing a game-changing vegan bacon and they’re equally known for their disruptive approach to marketing. We’re going to have a lot of fun working with Pangolin to launch them into the UK.”

The French pork producers' group, INAPORC, has attempted to implement a labelling ban on La Vie products for “unfair competition” claiming the product is too similar to actual bacon. In response, La Vie launched a humorous national OOH campaign in France, asking the pork lobby to change their bacon recipe as it is too similar to the plant-based alternative.

David Phillips, co-founder of Pangolin, said: “La Vie has caused a real stir in France and we can’t wait to help them take that across the English Channel. The French pork lobby isn’t happy with what La Vie has created, so that tells you how good the product is. We can’t wait to get started.”

Coolr and Pangolin have previously collaborated on work for several PepsiCo brands, including Doritos and Pepsi Max.