It started in 1979


Car wash creation

Lightlife® is founded as Tempeh Works in an old, converted car wash, and launches the first tempeh product into the mainstream market.

The 1980's


Shakin’, “Bacon”, and on the move

Fakin' Bacon® is introduced, and due to rising demand, the team relocates to a converted truck depot.


New name, same roots

Tempeh Works officially becomes Lightlife® Foods.


Consumers take note

Time Magazine highlights the dangers of fat and cholesterol in a cover story, making health awareness more popular than ever.


A twist on an American classic

Tofu Pups® launch, offering a vegetarian alternative to the good, old American hot dog.

The 1990's


Smart dogs are a hit

Lightlife® launches the fat-free Smart Dog®, now the #1 best-selling veggie dog in the United States.


The greatest thing on sliced bread 

Lightlife® launches the Smart Deli® line for sandwich lovers of all types.


Breaking the breakfast rut

Lightlife® expands its plant-based product line with Gimme Lean® Sausage.


Extra, extra – read all about it!

The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal publish articles stating that soy protein can help significantly lower high cholesterol, sparking a consumer boom in the plant protein market. 


Our new home

Lightlife® moves to its current home in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, overlooking the Connecticut River.


Plant protein gets a big endorsement

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concludes that 25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease, sparking another boom in the plant protein market.


Non-GMO before it was known

Due to concerns about the sustainability of ingredients in the food chain, Lightlife publicly pledges that all products will be GMO free, eight years before the Non-GMO Project is founded.

The 2000's


The big 3-0

Lightlife® celebrates 30 years of being a plant protein pioneer.

The 2010's


Give a little, gain a lot

Dawn Jackson Blatner releases her book, The Flexitarian Diet, which popularizes the health benefits of plant-based diets and “flexible” vegetarianism. The term ‘flexitarian’ goes mainstream.


Meat in moderation

Mintel reports that more than one-third of Americans are now cutting back on red meat for health reasons. 39% of beef and other red meat consumers ate less in 2013 than they did in 2012.


Certified pride

All Lightlife® products are approved as non-GMO through the Non-GMO Project standard.