We’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to join the growing number of people who’ll skip the turkey this Thanksgiving. There are lots of good reasons to find better and healthier ways to celebrate one of our favorite holidays. Turkey has the same disadvantages as other kinds of meat. To help you along, here are our top ten reasons to skip the bird this year. Remember that what we say about turkey is true of other holiday favorites such as ham as well. Read more
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The news about plant-based meat products just keeps on coming. Some thought we’d never live to see the day, but some of the biggest purveyors of meat have become some of the biggest purveyors of plant-based food. Competition is heating up in the plant-based protein industry, now worth $14 billion in the US, that Wall Street thinks could grow to be worth $140 billion. We’ve already seen Maple Leaf, a large meat company, acquire Lightlife and Field Roast. Conagra bought Gardein and is getting behind the product, while Nestlé bought Sweet Earth and recently launched their Awesome burger under this brand. Earlier fears that meat companies would acquire plant-based companies only to ruin them have fortunately not been borne out.
Consumers are rushing to try meat substitutes in a number of fast food restaurants, and data show that they’re willing to pay higher prices for the products. A number of high profile fast food restaurants sell plant based foods meat substitutes, and there are more to come. We’ve already written about Burger King’s new Impossible Whopper and the Subway’s forthcoming meatless meatball sub, but others are getting on the bandwagon as fast as they can. Dunkin launched their Beyond sausage sandwich in 163 locations across Manhattan, and KFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken launch in Atlanta sold out in just a few hours. Other chains such as Carl’s Jr, Tim Horton’s, Hardee’s and Del Taco are all getting in on the act.
Almost as exciting is the move by many meat companies to innovate their own new meat substitutes. Tyson foods launched Raised & Rooted, a line of products which includes vegan meat alternatives. They are also investing in a plant-based shrimp company. Kellogg has launched Incogmeato, a “next-gen product line” that includes a “ready-to-cook plant-based burger” and fully prepared plant-based “Chik’n” tenders and nuggets. Kroger, which owns Fred Meyer, will launch its own plant-based burgers, cookie dough, pasta sauce, sausage, deli slices. Hormel Foods has just launched its own line of plant-based meat alternatives. The line, called Happy Little Plants, includes a ground plant-based protein alternative. Hormel also offers plant-based pizza topping items and the Applegate Blend Burger, which combines organic meat and mushrooms.
This looks like a trend that isn’t going away anytime soon. The trend is firmly geared toward giving meat-eaters more plant-based options that they can discover and enjoy. While many of them may stick at being flexitarians, rather than moving to full-on vegetarians or vegans, any reduction in the consumption of animal products is welcome in our book!
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.
As many vegetarians are thinking about what to cook for their Thanksgiving Dinner at this time of year, we asked David Lee, owner of Field Roast, to give us some insight into how he started and developed Field Roast, the company famous for its all-vegetarian deli slices, sausages, meatloaf and celebration roast products.
When and why did you found Field Roast? What was your vision for the company?
It was in 1996 that I founded Field Roast. I wanted to make a living that also supported compassion and peace, so I decided to make a product good enough go up against animal meat, something that was fully flavored. I wanted to make it less of a leap to eat vegetarian.
How is Field Roast different from other meat-substitute products?
We use fresh vegetables, grains, and bold spices to create our products, and use the simple tenets of good cooking that anyone uses in their home cooking. We are taking a unique approach to the veggie meat category – real not fake. We aren’t trying to imitate the sinew and flavor of animal meats.
How has Field Roast grown over the years? Where are you now?
We’ve grown organically, we’ve allowed the market to invite us in, and have continued to grow with the market. In 2006 we had 11 employees; now, in 2012 we have 55. It’s pretty exciting.
What’s your vision for the future? Are you optimistic about the future of Field Roast in particular and vegetarianism in general?
We are very optimistic. The vegetarian and vegan market/customer base is growing and deepening. We are seeing crossover customers as many people eat a more plant-based diet. We are happy to be a part of this shift in eating habits. It inspires our work of making food every day.