Tyson Foods, the largest meat producer in the US, has announced plans to launch its own line of plant-based meat alternatives.
As part of its new Raised & Rooted brand, the Arkansas-headquartered company will this year release a range of plant-based nuggets made from pea protein isolate as well as blended burgers made with a combination of Angus beef and plants.
The announcement comes less than two months after Tyson sold 6.5% stake in plant-based firm Beyond Meat.
Plant-based protein is gaining popularity in the US and a recent report from Barclays suggested the market for alternative meat could reach roughly $140 billion over the next ten years.
Tyson said its experience in protein product development, manufacturing, distribution and marketing makes it “uniquely positioned” to introduce new plant-based and blended proteins.
Under its existing Aidells brand, the company is also launching a sausage and meatballs product made with chicken and plants.
Tyson Foods expects to introduce additional alternative protein products through multiple customers and sales channels, including products under the Raised & Rooted brand and across the company’s portfolio brands, as well as to foodservice operators.
“Today’s consumers are seeking more protein options so we’re creating new products for the growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein,” said Noel White, CEO of Tyson Foods.
“For us, this is about ‘and’ – not ‘or.’ We remain firmly committed to our growing traditional meat business and expect to be a market leader in alternative protein, which is experiencing double-digit growth and could someday be a billion-dollar business for our company.”
Earlier this year, White selected Justin Whitmore to lead all aspects of Tyson Foods’ alternative proteins business.
“The creation of the Raised & Rooted brand is an excellent example of Tyson’s ability to think big and move fast, capitalising on our existing infrastructure,” said Whitmore. “We began development of our alternative protein products last year and have succeeded in creating a new brand and bringing those products to market in well under a year. Customers tell us they love the taste and nutritional attributes and are excited to partner with us.”
Through Tyson Ventures, the company’s venture capital fund, Tyson is continuing its investment in start-up companies involved in alternative proteins. Current investments include mushroom-based protein producer MycoTechnology and cell-based meat producers Memphis Meats and Future Meat Technologies.
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