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Hampton Creek’s new ad encourages food innovation, competition

Hampton Creek, makers of plant-based mayo and baked goods, wrote a slew of letters to improve the food industry—and they’re addressed to you.

Every so often, food advertisements cross from marketing into the realm of inspiration.

Such was the case with Hampton Creek’s full-page ad in the Sunday New York Times, which despite appearing in print, was actually a letter addressed to 23-year olds.

The letter, written by Hampton Creek’s CEO and founder, Josh Tetrick, invites young people to bypass the traditional forms of employment that often include unfulfilling careers, and to instead launch values-driven companies that make the food system more sustainable, more resilient, safer, smarter and healthier.

“We’re asking you to start companies that compete directly with us. To join companies that care enough to start over in food,” writes Tetrick.

Perhaps the coolest part of the letter is the postscript, which encourages readers to contact Tetrick directly via his phone number and email address (an impressive move, considering the deluge of potential responses given the Time’s audience).

The ad is just one of four letters publicized in the New York Times targeting food industry changemakers including food leaders, CEOs and "You"—a letter that reinforces the importance of affordable, delicious and healthy food.

“We believe that eating well should be easy. We believe that the right thing, for our bodies and for the world, should be affordable. It should be more delicious. And we've built a movement, and the fastest-growing food company on earth, around that philosophy,” Tetrick writes.

Expo East appearance:
Natural Products Business School keynote speaker: Josh Tetrick
Wednesday, Sept. 16
9:15 to 10 a.m.
Holiday Ballroom 6
Hilton Hotel

These letters are a tactful way to communicate Hampton Creek’s mission, and they are an effective alternative to traditional, rhetoric-based food advertising. Innovative brands like Hampton Creek don’t exist in a vacuum—they are dependent on the microcosm of natural food players: Consumers. CPG CEOs. Suppliers. Manufacturers. Soon-to-be manufacturers. Retailers. We all play a role in improving food (and you can be older than 23, by the way).

Natural is working. More people and brands are realizing that eating a plant-based diet or consciously raised meat is better for health and the environment. As Hampton Creek points out, going eggless saved 1.5 billion gallons of water, avoided 2.8 billion milligrams of cholesterol and 11.8 billion milligrams of sodium. “And to be clear, there’s a lot of work to be done,” Tetrick says.

So, 20- or 30- or 40- or 50-somethings, let's get to work.

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