Cargill to launch plant-based burger in challenge to Beyond Meat

February 25, 2020 10:10
The market for plant-based imitation meat is growing rapidly, prompting new players to step in. Photo: Reuters

Cargill plans to launch plant-based hamburger patties and ground "fake meat" products in April, challenging Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods in the market for imitation meat, Reuters reports.

The company will offer customers soy protein or pea protein-based patties and ground products, which can be made into tacos, spaghetti sauce or other dishes. Retailers will be able to sell the products under their own labels.

Cargill plans to employ its decades-long experience handling ingredients and buying crops to produce private-label products more efficiently than competitors.

“We believe we’re uniquely positioned to be very effective and efficient in the supply chain,” Elizabeth Gutschenritter, managing director of Cargill’s alternative protein team, was quoted as saying.

Cargill's move comes amid soaring demand for meat alternatives as consumers add plant-based protein to their diets for health reasons and out of concern for animal welfare and environmental damage from livestock farming.

The firm's initiative represents new competition for startups Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, as well as major meat companies including Tyson Foods and Smithfield Foods which also sell plant-based products.

Beyond Meat products are made from pea protein, while Impossible Foods uses soy protein.

“On both, we’re competing,” Gutschenritter said. “We are offering a portfolio that will encompass both pea and soy formulations."

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