The trend of mainstream companies producing vegan products continues. PepsiCo, the third largest food company in the world, say they’ve formed a joint venture with Beyond Meat to create, produce and market snacks and drinks with plant-based ingredients.
The partnership gives Beyond, a relative newcomer to the food world, a chance to leverage Pepsi’s production and marketing expertise for new products. For its part, Pepsi can deepen its investment in plant-based categories, which are growing increasingly popular, while working with one of the top creators of meat substitutes. Pepsi says, “Plant-based proteins represent an exciting growth opportunity for us, a new frontier in our efforts to build a more sustainable food system and be a positive force for people and the planet, while meeting consumer demand for an expanded portfolio of more nutritious products.”
The trend of plant based products being produced by mainstream companies was undreamed of by many just a few decades ago. This is another sign of the success of the veg movement.
Subway has become the latest fast-food chain to jump on the plant-based protein bandwagon by releasing a new meatless meatball sub. Subway has announced that it will test a sub with plant-based meat, vegan, the Beyond Meatball Marinara, in 685 North American restaurants this September.
“Our guests want to feel good about what they eat and they also want to indulge in new flavors,” said Len Van Popering, Subway chief brand and innovation officer, in a statement. “With our new plant-based Beyond Meatball Marinara sub, we are giving them the best of both worlds.”
The sandwich will feature marinara sauce and provolone cheese on meatballs. Hold the Provolone and choose 9 grain or Italian bread to keep it vegan. This option will be an alternative to their vegetarian patty, which has long been available, but includes a little egg. There’s no mention of whether or not the Beyond Meat-based sub will carry a premium over its regular counterparts.
Plant-based and vegan fast-food options keep sprouting up. There’s quite the competition between Beyond Meat and the Impossible Burger to get their products into as many restaurants as possible. This latest news about Subway follows the launch of the Impossible Whopper at Burger King and other locations. Look out for more meat-free products coming soon to restaurants near you!
For years we’ve said that plant-based foods are the foods of the future. Now, we’re watching that future unfold right before our eyes. The meat alternative industry is headed toward a $40B market by 2030, analysts say.
Plant-based foods are one of the hottest trends in the food industry right now. Indeed, within roughly a week, plant-based-meat maker Beyond Meat became the best performing public offering by a major U.S. company in almost two decades. Our latest information has Beyond Meat shares soaring anew to bring post-IPO gain to 240%. Yes, we said 240%.
While we’re excited for Beyond Meat, they’ll have plenty of competition. Boca Foods, Field Roast Grain Meat Co., Gardein, Impossible Foods, Lightlife, Morningstar Farms and Tofurky are growing strong as well.
Meanwhile fast food chain Burger King said that it would roll out the plant-based Impossible Whopper nationwide, and furniture giant Ikea announced that it would upgrade the meatless version of its popular Swedish meatballs. Restaurants such as TGI Friday’s are jumping on board too. According to stock analyst Kathleen Smith, restaurant chains are finding that they can draw customers just because they have a meat alternative.
Speculation is being fueled by the presence of Don Thompson, chief executive and founder of venture firm Cleveland Avenue, on the Beyond Meat board. Thompson is a former chief executive of fast-food giant McDonald’s which he helmed from 2012 until his resignation in 2015.
Could McDonald’s be next? Stay tuned for further developments.
Is this good news? Mainstream meat and dairy companies are investing in, and acquiring outright, plant-based food companies. Is this the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end? Examples abound:
In July, France’s Danone, best known for its Dannon brand yogurt, bought WhiteWave and its subsidiary, So Delicious, which specializes in organic and plant-based alternatives to dairy products, in a deal worth $12.5 billion.
Beyond Meat sells plant protein that “looks, feels, tastes and acts like chicken without the cluck,” as the product packaging for its faux chicken reads. That was good enough for poultry giant Tyson Foods Inc., which acquired a 5% stake in the El Segundo-based vegan start-up Monday.
For Tyson Foods, the move is a fast way into a rapidly growing alternative-foods segment, which could account for as much as a third of worldwide protein consumption by mid-century with a market value of as much as $108 billion, according to Lux Research.
Even Boca Burger is owned by Kraft, and Gardein was recently acquired by Pinnacle Foods, which owns brands such as Armour Bacon. So the trend is clear. The question is “Is this a good thing and what will it mean for the future?” Commenting on Tyson’s recent investment, Paul Shapiro, the Humane Society’s vice president for farm animal protection, says, “We’re thrilled to see Tyson investing in the company. Americans want to diversify their protein sources with more of it coming from plants, and Tyson is positioned well to help them do that.”
Others agree and think that mainstream companies have the connections and extra bucks to take plant-based foods further and faster than they could have gotten on their own. Ultimately, the mainstream is where the growth is expected to come from in the veg world.
But still some uneasiness lingers. Many veg companies are choosing to keep their distance. While mainstream meat and dairy companies, seeing their potential, seem to have supported their new brands, they could have easily done otherwise. Time, as the saying goes, will tell what this will mean for the food vegetarians currently eat and enjoy.
There has never been a better time to be a vegetarian. Companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are conjuring up meat like products closer than ever to the real thing, giant restaurant chains like Wendy’s are (finally!) testing veggie burgers, and the science supporting the meat-free lifestyle just keeps coming.
Sales of vegetarian products are on the rise. In 2013, 12% of new food and drink products worldwide had vegetarian claims, double the 6% in 2009, according to Mintel, a food trend research group. In addition to this, 2% of global food and drink launches carried a vegan claim in 2013, up from 1% in 2009. When you consider just how large the global food market is that adds up to huge growth!
Fueling the rising sales are not only the growing number of vegetarians, but also a very large increase in the vegetarian-curious people who are eager to dip their toes and give vegetarian foods a try. According to Global Food Science Analyst, Laura Jones, “Plant-based and other vegetarian protein sources align with consumer interest in reducing red meat consumption and growing interest in vegetarian products. Indeed, consumers are shifting towards more plant-based diets.”
Add Microsoft founder and noted philanthropist, Bill Gates, to the list of leaders who understand that we can’t feed a growing and hungry population, in an environmentally sustainable way, on a meat-centered diet, especially when diet-related diseases now top the list worldwide.
According to Bill Gates, “meat consumption worldwide has doubled in the last 20 years. By 2030, the world will need millions of tons more meat than it does today. But raising meat takes a great deal of land and water and has a substantial environmental impact.” Gates cites the UN figures on the expected growth of meat (see chart). Read more