THIS Vegan Meat Brand Punked The Van Gogh Museum – And Got Away With It

The painting was up for almost an hour before being taken down by security


4 Minutes Read

A member of the THIS team carrying the Sunflowers painting into Amsterdam's Van Gogh museum The THIS team took their own painting into the Van Gogh museum - Media Credit: THIS

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THIS has just announced its “most ambitious undercover activity” to date – hanging its artwork in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Holland. 

The plant-based brand – known for its realistic vegan versions of chicken, bacon, and more – created its very own take on the famous Sunflowers painting. 

Dubbed “Mincent Van Gogh,” the painting featured the same iconic yellow and orange flowers as the original – but it also depicted an illustrated pack of THIS Isn’t Beef Mince. 

The painting even had an accompanying plaque, which read: “Kindly on loan from THIS in celebration of their THIS Isn’t Beef Mince; this unique Sunflowers image was created by Mincent Van Gogh, and is a rare discovery found in the private collection of Mr P. L. Antbased 2022.”

The THIS team managed to avoid security and hang it up without interference. They even captured a video of them doing so.

According to THIS, the painting was up for almost an hour before being removed. It was apparently seen by hundreds of people during this time. 

Andy Shovel, co-founder of THIS, said: “It was obvious really, where else are you supposed to celebrate a masterpiece, other than an internationally renowned gallery?!”

  • THIS vegan meat brand company created its own take on the Van Gogh Sunflowers painting
  • THIS vegan meat brand company created its own take on the Van Gogh Sunflowers painting
  • THIS vegan meat brand company created its own take on the Van Gogh Sunflowers painting
  • A visitor to the Van Gogh Museum views the THIS Sunflowers painting

THIS guerilla marketing

This isn’t the first time that THIS has made a name for itself in undercover guerilla marketing. 

In 2020, the company got an Ed Sheeran lookalike to hand out vegan nuggets in London. This was to celebrate their launch in Waitrose. 

In December 2021, the brand fooled an entire Italian food show that it was an artisan meat business. 

Speaking about the “meat,” one attendee said: “It’s very nice. I’m from Lecce, I know the good quality of meat, don’t worry.”

Another added: “You can actually taste that you’re eating pig. My grandparents were pig farmers.”

THIS vegan meat

THIS was set up in June 2019 by Shovel and Pete Sharman, two ex-meat fanatics who wanted to create a vegan brand for meat-lovers. 

The brand is known for its realistic meat alternatives, and it also released a line of ready meals that are perfect for plant-based eaters on the go. 

THIS products are available to buy in a number of UK supermarkets, including Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

The rise of plant-based meat

The vegan meat market has been growing exponentially in recent years. It was valued at $5 billion in 2021, and has been forecasted to grow 19.3 percent from 2022 to 2030.

While this staggering rise in popularity can partly be attributed to the rising number of vegans, the growing flexitarian market is also driving the change. 

Those who describe themselves as “flexitarian” generally avoid eating meat most of the time, but aren’t vegetarian or vegan. It is thought that around 16 percent of British consumers consider themselves flexitarian. Six percent identify as vegetarian, while around four percent are vegan. 

Those interested can learn more about THIS on its website, or by following the brand on Instagram.

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