In this file:

 

·         Business gets on board the plant-based protein train

Grocers, food manufacturers are tasting potential as consumers go flexitarian

 

·         Alt-Meat Goes Big Time

… “Tyson Ventures is pleased with the investment in Beyond Meat and has decided the time is right to exit ... [Tyson] plans to launch an alternative protein product soon, with market testing anticipated this summer.” Translation: “Thanks for allowing us to scope out your manufacturing systems and marketing tactics. We’ll take it from here”…

 

 

Business gets on board the plant-based protein train

Grocers, food manufacturers are tasting potential as consumers go flexitarian

 

Dianne Buckner, CBC News (Canada)

May 08, 2019

 

You know protein alternatives have hit the big time when the CEO of a multimillion-dollar meat company insists he's now running a "protein company."

 

"We're committed to both animal proteins and plant-based proteins," says Michael McCain, CEO of Toronto-based Maple Leaf Foods. The company has recently invested more than $600 million in the new and growing segment of the food business.

 

Small businesses are capitalizing on the trend in a big way as well. Just four years ago Margaret Coons, of London, Ont., was selling her cashew "cheese" in small batches at local farmers markets. Now Nuts for Cheese products are available in 800 stores across Canada — and she's just moved her 22 employees into a larger production facility.

 

"We've tripled revenues every year since we started," says Coons, a former vegetarian chef. "I haven't had a lot of moments to catch my breath."

 

Grocery chains can't get enough of the trend, either.

 

"It's exploding," says Mike Vaughan-Warford, a produce manager at a Sobeys store in London. "It's a wide demographic, from students to retirees — we see it across the board."

 

Meat alternatives are moving quickly to the mainstream, with companies marketing products to all types of consumers, not just vegetarians or vegans. Flexitarian is a new buzzword to describe people who avoid meat in some meals and enjoy it during others.

 

What gives? Anyone who tried a veggie hot dog or non-meat patty back in the '90s may be shocked at the new-found popularity of plant-based food. Back then, the products typically lacked flavour and their texture was unpleasant to many palates.

But advances in food science and technology have produced an array of tasty treats. The addition of extra fat, salt and spices also enhances the flavour of many of the latest plant-based foods.

 

"Some of the products are formulated to have slightly higher fat levels or salt levels than an animal protein," says McCain. "But they've got great taste and a great eating experience, and they fit into a dietary balance that could be chosen a couple of nights a week."

 

The Beyond Meat burger popularized by fast-food chain A&W, for example, contains more fat than the chain's Teen Burger with cheese and bacon: 29 versus 26 grams, according to nutritional information listed on the company website.

 

'Perception of health' ...

 

Good for the environment ...

 

more

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/meat-free-alternatives-go-mainstream-1.5126079

 

 

Alt-Meat Goes Big Time

 

Dan Murphy, Opinion, FarmJournal's Pork

May 8, 2019

 

With the apparent entry of one of the nation’s — heck, the world’s — largest meat and poultry marketers to the alt-meat category, products once considered marginal are going mainstream.

 

Tyson Foods has sold its stake in plant-based food processor Beyond Meat. According to multiple news reports, Tyson held a 6.5% stake in the alt-meat start-up.

 

The move should come as no surprise to anyone even slightly familiar with the evolution of a food industry start-up that shows signs of being successful.

 

Usually, an entrepreneur develops a new product or even a whole new category — the first-generation of veggie patties aimed at offering alternatives to hamburgers comes to mind — and after a regional run of promising sales, one of the industry’s big boys swoops in and makes an offer the start-up can’t refuse.

 

If the line shows strong enough growth, the corporate owner simply maintains the brand, and most consumers are none the wiser. They continue to buy the “new” products, thinking they’re supporting some small-scale, family-owned company, without realizing their purchases are putting more profits into the coffers of the corporate titans to which they typically hold such minimal affection.

 

The other acquisition route is the one that Tyson Foods apparently plans to pursue. In this scenario, a major player chips in some investment funding to help launch a start-up, then watches, listens and learns as the fledging product line’s manufacturers work to gain visibility, establish positioning and acquire market share.

 

If all goes well, and the products appear to be meeting consumer needs and providing a substantive point of difference, the corporate entity unloads its stake and uses its far greater resources to launch a competitive brand line.

 

It’s called free enterprise, although in either scenario, nothing is done for free.

 

A mere matter of scale-up

 

So what does Tyson’s exit-to-jump-into-the-category this mean for the alt-meat sector? Probably even faster and more expansive acquisition of the upscale consumer’s discretionary food dollar, that’s what.

 

Beyond Meat, it should be noted, has been losing money since its inception 10 years ago, a situation not uncommon for many a start-up. But its recent IPO raised some $241 million, according to Bloomberg, as the company sold 9.63 million shares for $25 apiece late last month.

 

That bodes well for Beyond Meat’s expansion plans, but for Tyson, the technology needed to develop vegetarian analogs to beef patties and pork sausage is advanced enough that jumping into that category requires only the kind of investment in equipment, personnel and distribution infrastructure the Arkansas-based processors is well-equipped to provide.

 

The R&D’s been done for them — okay, maybe some reverse engineering will be required — such that the company’s poised to execute category dominance via the kind of high-volume, lower cost production strategies that have driven their success in the beef, pork and chicken sectors.

 

In a statement to Reuters, Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman said that “Tyson Ventures is pleased with the investment in Beyond Meat and has decided the time is right to exit ... [Tyson] plans to launch an alternative protein product soon, with market testing anticipated this summer.”

 

Translation: “Thanks for allowing us to scope out your manufacturing systems and marketing tactics. We’ll take it from here.”

 

It’s like in the movies, when the federal agents show up at the scene of a hostage siege or a terrorist incident and tell the local cops, “Stand down. We’ll let you know when your help is needed.”

 

There’s only one drawback to Tyson plans:

 

more

https://www.porkbusiness.com/article/alt-meat-goes-big-time