MAMMA MIA! Plant-Based Meat Brand Tricks Entire Italian Food Show

● Plant-based meat brand, THIS™, tricked thousands of Italian food experts with fake Italian meat business at the European Pizza and Pasta Show ● Experts praised THIS™’s undercover, hyper-realistic plant-based food before the truth was revealed and the hilarious reactions filmed ● THIS™ has fast become known for its pranks showing just how meaty plant-based food can be


Plant-based meat brand THIS™ has pulled off the mamma of all pranks making an entire Italian food show, with thousands of Italian food experts, believe its products are from an artisan real meat company, THIS IS ITALY. 

During October, THIS™ set about creating the fake business, ready to be showcased at the European Pizza and Pasta show. The show ‘brings together the best of the pizza and pasta industry’ from leading restaurant chains to local pizzerias. Italians are famed for their love of food and in particular their cured meat, with centuries of tradition and knowledge. They also have the second highest meat consumption per capita in Europe[1]. These are the real meat connoisseurs, which THIS™ decided to put its plant-based food to the test with.

The THIS™ team kept everything under wraps whilst it created the fake business. Agreeing on THIS IS ITALY, it created a logo, branding, website and exhibitor profile.

At THIS IS ITALY, we love meat, meat and more meat. Our suppliers’ pigs have been fed the finest legumes and will compliment any pizza or pasta dish perfectly.’

At the show, the fake business had no visible association with THIS™. After hours of google image searching and many an eyebrow raised from our printers, the stand was adorned with the new THIS IS ITALY branding; showing picturesque Italian countryside, pigs grazing and of course the Italian flag – lots of flags. THIS™ also hired Luigi, an Italian actor to lead the guise and run the stand. 

Serving thousands of visitors over the two days, some of the comments were gold dust (we didn’t know them we promise);

‘You can actually taste that you’re eating pig. My grandparents were pig farmers.’

‘It’s very nice. I’m from Lecce, I know the good quality of meat, don’t worry.’

‘I’ve never had a sausage like it.’

Then, 75 team hours, 50+ conversations about pigs and 10,000 lardons later, Luigi eventually broke the news the range was in fact all plant-based. 

The undercover operation is testament to how far plant-based food has come. Even the most expert of palates believed THIS™ was meat. 

Andy Shovel, Co-Founder of THIS™ says; ‘Italians really (REALLY) love their food, and they know their meat. So it felt like putting THIS™ to the test, with our own little ‘Italian Job’, would be a laugh. And it really was. Everyone was a good sport though. Had visions of being beaten up by an angry pizza chef, but all was well in the end.’

THIS™ has fast become known for its pranks in attempt to show just how meaty plant-based food can be. It has trolled Salt Bae, fooled high-profile influencers and tricked the great British public with an Ed Sheeran lookalike and some undercover nuggets. Over half (55%) of Brits want to reduce their meat consumption[1], no time like the present THIS™ says.

No Italians or animals were harmed in the creation of this prank.

Source: THIS

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