Tyson Meat Company Invests in Plant Protein with Beyond Meat

People are now shying away from eating so much meat. Some nutrition experts believe that eating too much meat can cause serious, long-term health problems. New companies developing plant-based meat alternatives are racing to create the next big product in “meat.”

As one of the largest meat processors in the country, Tyson Foods shocked consumers when they decided to embrace plant proteins. They invested in the vegan “meat” company, Beyond Meat.  Beyond Meat is the company that brought the market, the Beyond Burger, which is a plant-based burger that looks and tastes like the real thing. Senior vice president in charge of strategy and new ventures, Monica McGurk, noted that the quality of the plant-based burger is amazing and Tyson Foods wants to diversify their food business.

Why Plant-Based Proteins?

There is a growing movement of vegetarianism and veganism in the United States. As more American consumers are eating more plant-based foods, many traditional meat manufacturers are thinking of new ways to grow share of the new plant-based market.

According to the Plant Based Foods Association, businesses in the country such as Califia Farms, Heidi Ho, and Beyond Meat have grown to at least $4.9 billion in sales last June.  The investment that Tyson Foods poured into Beyond Meat came as a shock because a meat company suddenly decided to invest in a plant-based business. Tyson must have seen the lucrative business of plant-based proteins.

Why did Tyson Diversify its Portfolio?

In 2014, Pinnacle Foods which produces canned meat products bought Gardein which creates a line of plant-based products. This creates a positive view that the meat industry is recognizing the movement of veganism. Although it may not cause the complete shift in meat to plant-based proteins, it is still a good sign for vegans and vegetarians all over the world.

However, this particular type of investment will also raise eyebrows, particularly among ardent vegetarians and vegans. Ethan Brown, founder, and CEO of Beyond Meat, said that many vegans see the ethical problem of a meat company investing in a plant-based business. But he is hopeful that this action can make plant-based meats become part of the mainstream decision of many consumers. Such investment is a great way for customers to enjoy plant-based protein in their daily diet.

Do Consumers Want More Plant-Based Meat Alternatives?

So, will such kind of investment be welcomed by many users? In a research conducted by Midan Marketing and Meatingplace, 70% of meat-eating respondents said that they could use meat substitutes in place for real meats at least once a week. The remaining number of correspondents are already using meat substitutes frequently.

The reasons why there are a huge following and acceptance of plant-based proteins in the United States is mainly for health. However, other people do it for the ethical reasons. Whatever the reasons may be, Tyson Foods investment in Beyond Meat proved that there is an emerging market for this particular niche.

Inspired by: www.nytimes.com