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Tyson, America’s Largest Meat Producer, Now Developing Vegan Protein

Plant-Based Burger | Image Credit: Impossible Foods

Tyson Foods, America’s largest meat producer, is developing its own plant-based protein that could be in stores later this year.

Noel White, president and CEO of the Arkansas-based company, told Arkansas Democrat-Gazette this week that the company is utilizing all the resources it has in order to create “great tasting protein alternatives that are more accessible for everyone.”

Following a shareholders meeting in Springdale, White followed up: “What I was signaling today is that it is coming,” adding “and we will do it in a significant way.”

According to the report, demand for alternative meat, poultry and cheese has led to Tyson Foods creating its own similar products.

Tyson, the world’s second largest meat producer, moving to offer plant-based protein options comes as consumers increasingly turn away from meat and increase their plant-based food intake primarily due to health concerns.

A study conducted by Nielsen found that plant-based food sales grew by 20% between June 2017 and June 2018, reaching a total of $3.3 billion, with the meat alternative category (not including tofu and tempeh) growing 24 percent to $670 million.

Meanwhile, sales of meat from animals grew just 2 percent during the same time period.

According to research conducted by sales and marketing agency Acosta, the vast majority of people consuming plant-based meat are meat eaters, who account for 71% of the purchases.

Jaime Athos, president and CEO of plant-based food company Tofurky, believes the fact that the foods are healthier and taste as good is what is leading meat eaters to turn toward plant-based products.

“Consumers are showing us that if they are presented with the option to choose healthier and more ethically produced plant-based foods without sacrificing taste, they will jump at it.”

Tyson now has a 6.5% stake in plant-based meat brand Beyond Meat, in addition to investing in lab-grown meat company Memphis Meats, and vegan plant-based protein company MycoTechnology.

The full details of the plant-based items the company is currently developing are not clear, but in February 2018, the brand announced plans to launch plant-based meal bowls this year.

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Paul Ibirogba

Written by Paul Ibirogba

Paul is a former writing teacher turned writer. He loves to travel the world (the southeast Asia region in particular), meet people from a variety of cultures and learn about various lifestyles. When he's not doing one of those things, he's probably reading non-fiction or watching YouTube videos.

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