Linda McCartney Foods is a British food brand specializing in
vegetarian and vegan food. Available in the UK, as well as Ireland,
Australia and New Zealand, the range includes chilled and frozen meat
analogues in the form of burgers, sausages, sausage rolls, meatballs,
stir-fry dishes and pastas.
The company was created in 1991 by entertainer and activist Linda
McCartney, and has been described as one of the most successful
mass-market celebrity brands.
1.1.1 Advertising contracts
220.127.116.11 Ross Young's
18.104.22.168 Fairmont Foods
22.214.171.124 Pie recalls (1992)
126.96.36.199 Burger recalls (1995-1996)
1.1.3 Soya claims
1.1.4 International cycling sponsorship
1.2 Linda McCartney's Home Style Cooking brand
3 See also
Linda McCartney Foods was established in April 1991, launching a range
of frozen vegetarian products including golden nuggets, ploughman's
pie (cheese pie), ploughman's pasties, lasagna, Italian style toppers,
and beefless burgers. The recipes were based on dehydrated textured
vegetable protein (TVP). Some of the sales proceeds were to go
towards McCartney to further develop the range, and to fund her animal
aid charity, Animal Line.
The packaging graphics were designed by Springett Associates, and
featured Linda McCartney's portrait and signature, a black and white
illustration by artist Jonathan Mercer, and the Vegetarian Society's
seal of approval. The ready meals were manufactured by frozen
food company Ross Young's, and were the first to not feature either
the Ross or the Young's name. Springett did further work with Ross
Young in 1995 to update the packaging with an emphasis on hand-written
copy linked with the
Linda McCartney persona. In October 1996,
United Biscuits' McVitie's worked with Springett to update the woodcut
design from country scenery to kitchen images. The campaign theme of
"Delicious recipes created in Linda's kitchen," reflected a changed
focus from mass production, to imply a personalised brand from
Linda McCartney Foods brand was preceded by the bestseller success
of McCartney's cookbook, Linda McCartney's Home Cooking, published in
1989. More than 40,000 copies were sold. The tour chef for the
McCartney's band used recipes from the cookbook for the
exclusively-vegetarian catered tour, labelled "rock's first veggie
tour", in 1989.
Further products were added in circa 1991/1992 including Spaghetti
Bolognese-style, Deep country pies, cauliflower and broccoli potato
gratin and vegetable wedges. The Spaghetti Bolognese style was
marketed as being the "...only meat analog version of the product"
available on the market.
The range was introduced across Europe and America in 1992.
The 12-product range had an annual turnover of 12 million pounds in
The products changed ingredients in circa August 1993, ceasing TVP and
switching to wheat protein. This was marketed as providing a more
meat-like taste than other meat analogue brands. However in 1995,
it was noted that the sausages (available internationally) were
manufactured from TVP seasoned with parsley.
The product range was expanded and improved in 1995, coinciding with
the brand's television commercial and the opening of a dedicated
factory in Fakenham. The new and updated options included beefless
burgers, country-style Kievs, savoury burgers, crunchy garlic grills
and vegetable cheese burgers.
In October 1996 as part of United Biscuits' McVitie's Prepared Foods,
the range was improved to reduce fat and sodium and increase protein
levels. At relaunch, a total of 14 products were offered, which
included pepperoni-style main meal pizza, and modified existing
offerings included: creamy garlic kievs, cannelloni, Linda's original
stew and dumplings, chilli non carne with mozzarella potato wedges,
and farmhouse-style pies.
Ross Young's had difficulty in advertising contracts for the range, as
Butterfield Day Devito Hockney resigned their contract in 1991, and
Lowe Howard-Spink resigned their subsequent contract after a six week
period in August 1992. The advertising contract was won by GGT in
November 1992, who then released their animated
woodcut-print-inspired television campaign in April 1993. Linda
McCartney featured in the brand's television commercials in October
1993. In May 1996, the brand commenced an advertising contract
with agency Cowan Kemsley Taylor after a disagreement with GGT
regarding advertising strategies.
In August 1993, Fairmont Foods entered a contract with advertising
agency Zimmerman Group, but without a formal written agreement.
Fairmont fired the agency on 28 February, 1994. Fairmont filed a
complaint in April 1994, and went to trial in August-September 1995
against Zimmerman, in a financial dispute. The claims, counterclaims
and a third-party suit related to alleged overpayments, contract
breaches and staff poaching.
Pie recalls (1992)
In October 1992, more than 700 pies were recalled as they contained
meat. Ross Young's conducted an investigation into possible external
tampering. While the Hull factory also produced Ross Young's steak and
kidney pies, the products were never produced together.
McCartney's continued endorsement of the range was given on the
condition of intensive investigations and Ross Young's guarantees.
Burger recalls (1995-1996)
In October 1995, the beefless burgers were recalled after containing
more fat than advertised. This occurred after the Food Commission
survey, ITV's current affairs programme (The Big Story) noted
their 20 - 23 percent fat content through independent laboratory
testing. This contrasted with the packaging's claim of 11.2 percent
fat content. McCartney asked for the problem to be corrected and
thousands of packs were recalled. Ross Young stated that there was no
health risk, and a spokesman stated that the products were marketed as
"non-meat", not as a "low fat" food. The fat content variation was
found to be due to the type of vegetarian mince used in
In 1996, Linda and
Paul McCartney shipped one million soy veggie
burgers to Sarajevo, to aid war recovery efforts in Bosnia. Linda
provided the powdered "mercy meals", inspired by the fundraising
Help Album", recorded by Paul and other celebrities.
Three trucks were hired to transport 22 tonnes of dried veggie burger
mix. Spectator cook Jennifer Patterson joked that the donation
could result in an unfortunate flatulent side effect.
After the burgers had been sent, they were found to have a high fat
content, and were planned to be recalled.
In 1999, the BBC Two's
Newsnight programme alleged that Linda
McCartney products contained genetically modified soya, directly
contradicting a statement by the company.
International cycling sponsorship
Linda McCartney (also known as The
Linda McCartney Pro
Cycling Team) was an all-vegetarian cycling team, founded in 1998 and
primarily sponsored by the food chain.
The brand was promoted by cyclist Benjamin Brooks until 2000, when his
contract was not continued. The team competed in the 2001 Jacob's
Creek Tour Down Under, and rider David McKenzie won the 2001 final
stage of the Tour Down Under in Adelaide.
After three years,
Linda McCartney Foods withdrew sponsorship from the
team but allowed them to continue using branding while seeking a new
sponsor. In early 2001, founder Julian Clark announced the disbandment
Linda McCartney Team after the budget shortfall and debts of
one million pounds, and the team parted ways with company OC
Racing and Promotions. The International Cycling Union made
criminal complaints of fraud against the team, and Clark faced
deception charges in Maidstone Crown Court in February 2001.
Linda McCartney's Home Style Cooking brand
In December 1993, McCartney announced a line of vegetarian frozen
entrees to be released in America under brand name "Linda McCartney's
Foods from the Heart". The range was made under and agreement with
Fairmont Foods of Minnesota (FFM). The range was launched in
March 1994 as "Linda McCartney's Home Style Cooking", and was the
first American company with a completely meatless line of food
products. Products included boil-in bag entrees: Fetticini
Alfredo, Pasta Provencale, Pasta Primavera, Rigatone Marinara,
Bavarian Goulash, Spaghetti Milano and Chili Non-Carne; and preplated
dishes: Lasagna Roma and Burrito Grande.
In 1995, in addition to Pasta Primavera, Fettucini Alfredo, Lasagne
Roma, Burrito Grande, other products were American Barbecue, Tex-Mex
Tostada and Traditional Stew.
The brand became part of United Biscuits' McVitie's Prepared Foods
division in March 1996.
The company was sold in December 1999 to H.J.
Heinz Co., who planned
to sell the vegetarian food products worldwide. It was acquired as
part of purchasing United Biscuits' frozen and chilled foods
It was sold again in 2006 to the Hain Celestial Group. The
McCartney family remains involved in its development.
List of meat substitutes
List of vegetarian and vegan companies
^ "Our story", "Our food",
Linda McCartney Foods, accessed 1 February
^ Katie Allen, "
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^ "New releases from Linda". The Grocer. 1 February 1997.
^ a b "Mainstream battle for meat-free brands". The Grocer. 5 October
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^ a b "
Linda McCartney moves into main meal pizzas". Brand Strategy.
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^ "Briefly". USA Today. 1 November 1991. p. 02D.
^ a b "Ross Young's vegetarian pies 'laced with meat'". The
Independent - London. 10 October 1992. p. 2.
^ Dwek, Robert (19 August 1993). "Revamp for McCartney's veggies".
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Alert. Vol. 12, no. 12. 21 June 1995 – via Factiva.
^ "Ross Young extends
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17 June 1995. p. 32.
^ "This week - stop press". Marketing. 10 October 1996.
^ McMurdo, Lindsay (21 August 1992). "Lowe splits with Ross Yong's".
Marketing Week. p. 10.
^ Plant, Fiona (4 December 1992). "GGT scores double with Sealink and
Ross Young". Campaign. p. 5.
^ Plant, Fiona (8 April 1993). "GGT launches its first ads for Ross
Young's". Campaign. p. 10.
Linda McCartney back on screen promoting meat-free frozen foods".
The Grocer. 9 October 1993. p. 48.
^ "Ads to boost Linda McCartney's vegetarian foods". Campaign's Daily
News. 28 May 1996.
^ "Agencies - Digests". Marketing Week. 24 May 1996. p. 13.
^ "Fairmont Foods taking ad agency to court". Sentinel. 26 August
1995. p. 1.
^ "Some offal rumours of sabotage - Ross Young's". Marketing Week. 6
November 1992. p. 25.
^ "Veggie food cost 'leaves bad taste'". The Evening Standard. 18
October 1995. p. 5.
^ "Linda's fat burger fury". Mirror. 19 October 1995.
^ Walton, A. Scott (19 October 1995). "Peach Buzz". Atlanta
Constitution. p. F/2.
^ Bellos, Alex (19 October 1995). "Linda McCartney's veggie burgers
get a roasting". The Guardian. p. 7.
^ Hornsby, Michael (19 October 1995). "McCartney burgers withdrawn
over fat - Linda McCartney". The Times.
^ "Mercy meals for Bosnia". Mirror. 26 September 1995.
^ "Instant charity album goes straight to the top". Yorkshire Post. 11
^ "McCartneys star in cartoon, send
Bosnia burgers". Reuters News. 26
^ "Linda McCartney's generous donation of 22 tonnes of dehydrated
veggie-burger mix...". The Evening Standard. 27 September 1995.
^ "Pass notes - Linda McCartney". The Guardian. 28 September 1995.
^ "Keeping Bosnians slim". American Enterprise. 7 no 2: 9. March 1996
– via EBSCOHost.
^ "BBC News Sci/Tech GM soya 'in
Linda McCartney food'".
news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-10-12.
^ Gilmour, John (11 November 2000). "Briton ensures brave Brooks bid
goes unrewarded". The Newcastle Herald. p. 126.
^ Denver, Tanya (5 January 2001). "Stevo battle chief". The Adelaide
^ "Fraud Complaint". The Times (United Kingdom). 7 March 2001.
^ "Cash row unseats riders". The Australian. 26 January 2001.
^ "Clark wheels stop turning". Daily Telegraph. 27 January 2001.
^ "Briefs". The Age (Melbourne). 27 January 2001.
Linda McCartney to introduce line of frozen meatless entrees in
United States". PR Newswire. 3 December 1993.
Linda McCartney plans line of frozen entrees". Buffalo News. 5
^ Welch, Bryan (25 March 1994). "Fab fellow finds Fairmont". Sentinel.
Linda McCartney in Minnesota to launch 'New jobs from new food'".
PR Newswire. 25 March 1994.
^ "Entrees (product introduction)". Gorman's New Product News. Vol.
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^ Riso, Mary Lou (6 September 1995). "Check it out". The REcord.
^ "Ad Age's World Wire". Advertising Age. 71 no 7: 66. 14 February
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^ "A Healthy Way of Life", Hain Celestial Group, accessed 1 February
Linda McCartney food line boosts Hain Celestial", Newsday, 10
That it was owned by Heinz: Nigel Slater, "When the McCartneys came
for lunch", The Observer, 29 April 2007.
^ "Sir Paul visits Linda food factory", Belfast Telegraph, 7 October
Veganism and vegetarianism
Vegan organic gardening
Vegetarian Diet Pyramid
Ethics of eating meat
List of meat substitutes
American Vegan Society
Beauty Without Cruelty
Food Empowerment Project
Movement for Compassionate Living
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Vegan Awareness Foundation
Vegan Prisoners Support Group
The Vegan Society
World Vegan Day
American Vegetarian Party
Boston Vegetarian Society
Christian Vegetarian Association
European Vegetarian Union
Hare Krishna Food for Life
International Vegetarian Union
Linda McCartney Foods
Toronto Vegetarian Association
Vegetarian Society (Singapore)
World Esperantist Vegetarian Association
World Vegetarian Day
Thirty-nine Reasons Why I Am a Vegetarian
Thirty-nine Reasons Why I Am a Vegetarian (1903)
The Benefits of
Diet for a Small Planet
Diet for a Small Planet (1971)
Moosewood Cookbook (1977)
Fit for Life
Fit for Life (1985)
Diet for a New America (1987)
The China Study
The China Study (2004)
Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People
Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People (2005)
Skinny Bitch (2005)
Livestock's Long Shadow
Livestock's Long Shadow (2006)
Eating Animals (2009)
The Kind Diet
The Kind Diet (2009)
Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows
Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows (2009)
Eat & Run (2012)
Meat Atlas (annual)
Meet Your Meat
Meet Your Meat (2002)
Peaceable Kingdom (2004)
A Sacred Duty
A Sacred Duty (2007)
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (2010)
Forks Over Knives
Forks Over Knives (2011)
Live and Let Live (2013)
What the Health
What the Health (2017)
Neal D. Barnard
T. Colin Campbell
Gary L. Francione
John A. McDougall
Richard H. Schwartz