Our History

We’re Lightlife, the Plant-Based Protein Pioneers.


2019 marks Lightlife’s 40th anniversary. We’re proud to say that since planting our roots in a small town in Western Massachusetts in 1979, we’ve grown into one of North America’s largest plant-based protein brands—and we’re just getting started.

As the plant-based protein pioneer, we believe in making Food That Shines™. That means better-tasting, easy-to-prep, plant-based proteins that give you positive energy you can feel good about.

We’re here to make the journey to a better you more enjoyable. And here’s the best part: the journey starts with just one bite.

2019 – The Big 40

2019 marks our 40th anniversary and we’re celebrating by bringing new life to our brand with a new logo, package design and new line of products.

Our new logo honors our heritage by highlighting the sun, the source of all energy, as our guiding light as we all strive to live long and travel light.


2017 – Certified Pride

In 2017, all Lightlife products received the stamp of approval as non-GMO through the Non-GMO Project Standard. (And we’re committed to getting all new and future products certified, as well.)

2013 – Meat in Moderation

Mintel reports that more than one-third of Americans are cutting back on red meat for health reasons. Thirty-nine percent of red meat consumers ate less in 2013 than they did in 2012.

2010 – Flexitarians Unite

Dawn Jackson Blatner releases her book, The Flexitarian Diet, which popularizes the health benefits of a plant-based diet and the term “flexitarian” goes mainstream.

1999 – Non-GMO (Before It Was Cool)

Lightlife® publicly pledges that all products will be GMO-free, eight years before the Non-GMO Project is founded.

1995 – 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 consumer interest in the plant-based protein market.

1993 – Smart Dogs® Are a Hit

Lightlife® launches Smart Dogs®, now the #1 best-selling plant-based hot dog in the United States.

1984 – New Name, Same Roots

Tempeh Works officially changes their name to Lightlife® Foods.

1984 – It’s About Time

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

1979 – Home Sweet home

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