New Investors for the PLant-Based Movement
Written by Tyler Puckett
Tyson Foods recently made headlines for its move to invest 5% in Beyond Meat, the California-based producer of meatless crumbles, meatless chili, and now, the Beyond Burger. Although investors and companies such as Bill Gates, General Mills, and the Humane Society have also contributed to Beyond Meat, Tyson’s investment is the first of its kind. Never before has a meat processor of their size partnered with a plant-based competitor.
Recent sales trends show that a growing number of consumers are choosing plant-based foods over animal agricultural products for their health, the environmental, and the welfare of animals. In fact, market-watchers from Lux Research expect plant-based alternatives to reach “a third of the meat market” by the year 2054. By partnering with reducetarian-friendly startups, mainstream companies such as Tyson can use their resources to contribute towards this growing industry.
Beyond Meat is not the only meatless startup receiving mainstream investments. In 2014, Pinnacle Foods, who owns the Armour and Birds Eye brands, bought out meatless producer Gardein. In 2002, Dean Foods invested in the alternative milk producer Silk, and in the year 2000 Kraft bought Boca, the company whose name is practically synonymous with veggie burgers. As the less meat movement continues to grow, Tyson and other mainstream companies are placing more focus on plant-based products in order to meet consumer demand.
Reducetarians have increasingly more options every day as funding from investors allows companies like Beyond Meat to “broaden availability of plant protein choices to consumers.”