Reading Time: 2 minutes The online trolls sampled vegan meat (Photo: YouTube/This)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Internet trolls who posted negative comments on photos of vegan meat were invited to come and try the food – and share their views.

They had commented on pictures of products from plant-based startup This, which will be launching bacon, sea salt & black pepper chicken pieces and chicken tikka pieces in Holland & Barrett stores across the UK in June.

This made a video, sharing some of the negative comments, before hosting the commentators.

‘Savage stuff’

“We’re basically inviting in a load of people that trolled us on Instagram who really let rip on us. [There were] some classic comments, pretty savage stuff,” the founders say in the video.

One of the commentators, Bejaamin1, simply said the plant-based chicken pieces ‘look like sh*t’. Skatetwiggy added that they look ‘dry as’. Both social media users, to their credit, agreed to appear in the video and sample the product.

Some of the feedback included ‘the texture is exactly the same as chicken,’ and ‘I’m quite enjoying this, actually’. The most ebullient praise was saved for the bacon, with Benjaamin1 saying: “Can I have another piece? It actually tastes like bacon. Mindblowing.”

Major U-turn

“We had a job before we co-founded THIS,” THIS co-founders, Andy Shovel and Pete Sharman, told Plant Based News, speaking about the brand. “We established and ran a burger (as in, beef) restaurant chain called Chosen Bun. As far as U-turns go, this is a whopper.

“When we sold that business in 2016, we realized some stuff – that maybe we should eat less meat – fairly urgently, and that if you don’t like tofu, or food with orange packaging, you don’t have that much of a meat-alternative choice.

“And so, we made THIS. It’s ridiculously high in protein, it tastes sensational and it’s produced by people who won’t guilt-trip you if you also eat meat. We’re brazen about our ambition – we want to make plant-based the norm.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.