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·         Hormel Foods launches plant-based protein brand Evolve

·         Muscle Milk Maker Sees Green in Plant-Based Protein



Hormel Foods launches plant-based protein brand Evolve


By Dean Best, Just-Food

15 February 2017


Hormel Foods, the owner of the Muscle Milk protein drink brand, has developed its first plant-based line.


The company's CytoSport arm has created Evolve, a plant-based and vegan drink, which, as well as being free from dairy also contains no soy nor gluten.


Hormel is also putting Evolve protein powder on sale and is lining up the launch of Evolve protein bars later this year.


The shelf-stable shakes contain 20 grams of pea protein and ten grams of fibre. The drinks are also free from artificial flavours and contain no GMO ingredients.


Greg Longstreet, the CEO of Hormel's CytoSport unit, said:





Muscle Milk Maker Sees Green in Plant-Based Protein


John Kell, Fortune

Feb 13, 2017


Muscle Milk maker CytoSport has spent nearly two decades helping athletes bulk up with dairy-based proteins. The company's next evolution will be rooted in plants.


CytoSport is tackling the plant-based protein craze with a new line of vegan, plant-based shakes, protein powders, and protein bars that contain no gluten, soy, or dairy ingredients. CytoSport's Evolve is made with non-GMO pea protein, with flavors for the line including vanilla, chocolate, and toasted almond. The Evolve brand is getting a national launch, with a greater emphasis on natural food retailers.


"We realize that dairy proteins and the Muscle Milk brand has a wide audience that is a growing business for us, but we aren't going to reach everyone," CytoSport CEO Greg Longstreet told Fortune. "People are looking for different types of proteins and plant-based is something that's seeing fast growth. We think that five to 10 years from now, this is the future."


CytoSport's innovative pipeline in recent years has been powered by Hormel Foods (hrl, -0.08%), which paid $450 million to acquire the sports-nutrition maker back in 2014 in a deal intended to help the company reach younger consumers as well as those interested in adding more protein to their diets. Hormel Foods broadly relaunched the Muscle Milk brand last spring with new packaging and a national television ad campaign. It also debuted new ready-to-drink shakes like smoothies.


But the Evolve line is unique because it is the first time that CytoSport isn't incorporating dairy or soy into the company's product line. That plays into a bigger trend by some of the nation's largest food manufacturers to invest in newer brands that are built on the premise that plants are a great source of protein. Besides Hormel, others that are investing in the trend include General Mills (gis, -0.27%), Kellogg (k, -0.62%) and Tyson Foods (tsn, +0.31%)—all through investments made in their venture capital arms in brands like Beyond Meat, Kite Hill, and Kuli Kuli.


Longstreet said that his team first noticed that a lot of employees were personally interested in eating more plant-based protein products...