Hampton Creek and the Consumer Shift Away From Big Agriculture

Small California-based company hampton Creek is part of what the media has dubbed the war on big food. This movement is consumer driven, as shoppers increasingly choose products from smaller food producers and try to avoid unwanted ingredients. Some of those ingredients include artificial preservatives and colors, high-fructose corn syrup and genetically modified organisms. People are choosing more foods not associated with factory farms.

Buying Hampton Creek products effectively resolves those concerns. At the moment, the company’s product line is still limited, with sandwich spreads, salad dressings, refrigerated cookie dough and boxed baking mixes on store shelves. However, company officials say they’ve got a plethora of convenience foods in the works, all entirely plant-based.

Big agriculture might have continued chugging along and becoming ever larger were it not for one massive change in society — the proliferation of the Internet. The biggest food products would have continued using increasingly enormous chunks of land to grow feed for livestock, and keeping many animals confined to cages that are uncomfortably small. The Internet has allowed for the stream of information about what farm animals endure and what is being done to the nation’s food supply and foods grown for livestock. For example, many consumers are disturbed about the modification of corn plants so that pesticide is intrinsically included right inside the plant. This technique is being implicated in honeybee colony collapse. With so much of the country’s land being planted with corn, that is a noteworthy concern.

Not everyone looking for alternatives to foods from big agriculture plans to go vegetarian or vegan. Nevertheless, they are interested in supporting companies that raise livestock in methods that aren’t characterized by animal cruelty. They look for producers that do not use, or else minimize the use of, substances such as antibiotics and hormones. One problem for the average consumer is that food from small producers tends to cost more. One of Hampton Creek’s goals is to make their products just as affordable as those offered by giant corporations. They’ve succeeded so far with their Just Mayo alternative to mayonnaise as well as their other products.