In this file:


·         US meat producers want a slice of vegan market

·         Vegan Thanksgiving Turkeys on the Rise



US meat producers want a slice of vegan market


Agence France-Presse

via Inquirer (Philippines) - November 25, 2019


The growing craze for vegetarian versions of juicy burgers and sausages has created such a buzz that even traditional meat producers are trying to get in on the action.


The big players are trying to capitalize on the success of products from companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger.


JBS, the world’s largest beef producer, has been marketing a soy burger in Brazil since the summer, which contains beets, garlic and onions and is similar to a rare ground beef.


The largest American meat producer, Tyson Foods, in June launched a new line of plant-based proteins and meat-vegetable blends called “Raised & Rooted.”


And competitors Hormel Foods, Perdue Farms and Smithfield have unveiled similar initiatives to take a slice out of this new market.


“Our food culture is changing at a rapid pace,” said Bryan Kreske, brand manager at Hormel Foods.


There is an “increasing curiosity and motivation to try great-tasting, alternative protein sources like plant-based proteins while decreasing their consumption of animal-based protein.”


Regardless of whether it is the start of a new trend, or a passing fancy, the agri-food giants do not want to miss the opportunity. Rather than target vegetarians, they are going after the 95% of consumers who eat meat.


But unlike the upstart alternative meat companies, which cite the carbon footprint of raising cows and other livestock, traditional players have a harder time using environmental or animal rights arguments to promote their products. Instead, they often focus on health benefits.


“It’s more about our clients wanting to get more plants and vegetables into their diet and less about reducing meat consumption,” said Eric Christianson, marketing manager at Perdue.


Best known for its chicken, Perdue in September released their “Chicken Plus” products, which include kid-friendly nuggets, made of a mix of chicken, chickpeas and cauliflower — which they say is perfect for parents trying to get their kids to eat vegetables.


The company is betting big on this new product: earmarking half of its 2020 marketing budget to promoting it, spending especially heavily in January, “when people are really going to be in the mood to eat healthy,” Christianson said.


‘Plant curious’ consumer ...





Vegan Thanksgiving Turkeys on the Rise


By Victoria Campisi, The Food Institute

Nov 25, 2019


Major turkey producers are developing vegetarian options as a growing number of Americans become flexitarians.


Twenty-five years ago Tofurky, a tofu turkey, hit the market and now sells 400,000 roasts each holiday season, reported Reuters (Nov. 25). Nevertheless, many vegetarians are still searching for a plant-based alternative that hits the mark for turkey flavor and texture in the same way plant-based companies have done it for beef.


Still, there is no denying the influence Tofurky had on the plant-based market. By 2000, Tofurky became a sensation, even if some of the attention it received was ridiculing, reported Forbes (Nov. 24).


Its creation dates back to the 1990s when a small Oregon-based tempeh maker and a husband and wife vegetarian catering team known for their delicious tofu roasts decided to create a tofu roast surrounded by "drumsticks" made of tempeh.


"Tofurky deserves credit for getting the ball rolling on meat alternatives as we think of them now," said Jan Dutkiewicz, a visiting fellow at Oxford University where he's researching the future of food. "It gave a lot of people a first taste, literally and conceptually, of meat alternatives."


Consumers looking for better taste and texture in a plant-based turkey alternative say they are motivated by concern for their own health, animal welfare and the environmental stresses of raising animals for meat.


Beyond Meat is urging consumers to create holiday dishes using its existing beef and sausage alternatives, while a turkey alternative is among Impossible Foods' long-term goals.


However, a major turkey producer could beat the plant-based companies to it. Butterball will run limited tests of plant-based turkey options next year. Additionally, Tyson is "looking at options across protein forms" while Perdue Farms has "something in the pipeline."


"Don't be surprised if more protein options find their way onto future Thanksgiving tables," a Tyson spokeswoman said...