Putting the meat in meat-less?: A critical discourse analysis of corporate marketing of plant-based products
Date of Award
Master of Arts
Lois Presser, Christina Ergas, Kristina Gehrman
The plant-based industry has sustained rapid growth within recent years due to awareness surrounding environmental harms. Due to the rise in profitability of plant-based products in the consumer market, multiple corporations have either acquired or created plant-based brands. The corporations that have done so (Tyson, Smithfield, Kellogg’s, Nestlé, and Conagra Foods) are the subjects of study for this project. These major corporations are also part of the industrial animal agriculture system, and garner profit from meat and dairy businesses. This study explores the way the marketing is embedded in ideologies of Western capitalism and patriarchy. I use critical discourse analysis to analyze 20 statements extracted from the specified companies’ public websites. I found that the corporations constructed their actions and image through a populist framework that in turn embodies hegemonic values. In short, the discourse of the marketing allows for the corporations to evade the significance of their role in ecological, animal, and social harms, while appropriating the values of a movement that itself holds the promise of dismantling corporate dominance over food and nonhumans.
McIntyre, Samantha A., "Putting the meat in meat-less?: A critical discourse analysis of corporate marketing of plant-based products. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2022.