Tag Archives: Gardein

Plant-based meats explode!

Field-Roast-productsThe 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!

The food of the future – plant-based meats

beyondburgerFor 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.

Good news? – Meat and Dairy acquiring veg companies

 

so-delicious-dessertsIs 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 packetBeyond 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.