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Meat teams with stakes in plant-based and cell-based alternate options

The rise of plant-based merchandise and the arrival of cell-cultured – or ‘clear’ – choices as meat alternate options are developments very a lot on the radar of the world’s largest meat corporations. Right here we have a look at what these companies are doing to ensure they don’t seem to be lacking out on different protein options.


The world’s largest meals maker, which owns a minority stake in European meats enterprise Herta and buys in meat for a wide range of prepared meals and convenience-food merchandise, has a rising presence available in the market for meat alternate options.

In September 2017, the corporate entered the US marketplace for plant-based meals with the acquisition of Candy Earth.

In Europe, Nestlé‘s has made a sequence of strikes to attempt to faucet into rising demand for plant-based alternate options to meat.

Within the spring of 2018, the corporate launched the Backyard Gourmand model within the UK however, by April 2019, had confirmed the product was now not on sale in that market.

April 2019 additionally noticed Nestlé launch the Unimaginable Burger beneath the Backyard Gourmand model in choose European markets.

In June 2020, Nestlé misplaced a trademark spat with US plant-based burger maker Unattainable Meals and was pressured to drop the Unimaginable Burger title, adopting the designation of the Sensational Burger as an alternative.

In Australia, the Swiss large markets its plant-based meat merchandise beneath the title Harvest Gourmand, which was launched in that market in 2019.

The Harvest Gourmand model was launched in China within the autumn of 2020.

In July 2021, Nestlé confirmed it was Nestlé “evaluating modern applied sciences to supply cultured meat or cultured-meat elements with a number of exterior companions and start-ups”.

Nestlé mentioned an instance was its work with Israeli cell-based meat start-up Future Meat Applied sciences. The corporate mentioned it was partnering with Future Meat Applied sciences to “discover the potential of cultured-meat elements that don’t compromise on style or sustainability”.

Tyson Meals

The US meat large, one of many largest corporations within the sector, has maybe finished greater than any of its rivals to place itself in alternate options to its core product.

Tyson Meals beforehand invested in US plant-based burger agency Past Meat and has backed two lab-based meat corporations – Memphis Meats from the US and Future Meat Applied sciences.

In Might 2018, it co-led a US$2.2m seed funding spherical within the Israeli agency via its Tyson Ventures arm.

It described the goal of its funding as a “ground-breaking start-up creating reasonably priced, non-GMO expertise for aesthetic meat manufacturing”. Future Meat Applied sciences is a Jerusalem-based biotechnology firm advancing a distributive manufacturing platform for cost-efficient, non-GMO manufacturing of meat instantly from animal cells, with out the necessity to increase or harvest animals.

The funding constructed on its beforehand taking a minority stake in US-based Memphis Meats, once more via its Tyson Ventures arm. Memphis Meats, primarily based within the San Francisco Bay Space, mentioned it deliberate to make use of the brand new funds to speed up product improvement.

In April 2019, it emerged Tyson had exited its funding in US agency Past Meat, forward of the Past Burger maker’s IPO.

In June that 12 months, Tyson launched a model – Raised & Rooted –  within the US, beneath which plant-based merchandise and so-called ‘blended’ meals (containing meat and plant elements) have been offered. By the autumn of 2020, the corporate rolled out the model to Europe, focusing on the foodservice market.

In December 2020, Tyson introduced it was making modifications to the Raised & Rooted plant-based vary it sells within the US – together with pulling the hybrid burger on supply for the reason that model’s launch final 12 months.

Tyson began 2021 with the disclosing of plant-based breakfast patties beneath its Jimmy Dean model, merchandise it mentioned would assist meet demand for meat-free choices at breakfast.

In June of that 12 months, the corporate continued its push into meat alternate options launched its first plant-based meat model in Asia.


Within the spring of 2019, the Brazil-based meat titan, the world’s largest beef processor, unveiled a plant-based model of a burger.

JBS launched the vegan product beneath one among its flagship Brazilian manufacturers, Seara. The corporate mentioned the Incrível Burger Seara Gourmand burger contained soy, beets, wheat, garlic and onion.

In March 2020, JBS introduced it will launch plant-based protein model Ozo within the US through a brand new subsidiary, Planterra Meals. Burgers have been among the many merchandise to be rolled out.


One other Brazil-based meat main, Marfrig, introduced in August 2019 plans to enter the plant-based class in an unique tie-up with Archer Daniels Midland.

ADM produces the bottom uncooked supplies whereas Marfrig manufactures and sells the tip merchandise.

Marfrig’s meat-free burgers – offered beneath the Revolution model – launched in December 2019 and since then they’ve largely been focused on the foodservice market the place they’re offered by the likes of quick meals large Burger King and native chain Outback Steakhouse, which manufacturers its meat-free providing the Aussie Plant Burger and sells it for round US$8.

The product is prone to be offered through shops in the end.


One other Brazil-based meat large has invested in alternate options to the traditional business.

Within the plant-based space, BRF markets merchandise beneath its Sadia Veg & Tal model, whereas the corporate has a contract with Aleph Farms, an Israel-based start-up specializing in cell-cultured meat.

Their tie-up, introduced in March 2021, will see the businesses work collectively on creating cell-based meat on the market in Brazil. “BRF is prepared and charged to play a number one function on this meals revolution and be an lively participant in a single the best business transformations of this technology,” Lorival Luz, the CEO of BRF, mentioned on the time.

In July 2021, BRF invested in Aleph Farms as a part of a US$105m funding spherical. Its contribution was $2.5m.


US agri-food large Cargill has additionally backed ‘clear’ meat firm Memphis Meats.

In August 2017, Cargill joined a large group of traders together with Microsoft founder Invoice Gates and Virgin founder Richard Branson in a Sequence A fundraising spherical.

“Our aim is to offer an entire basket of products to our clients. We are going to do that by rising our conventional protein enterprise, getting into into new proteins and investing in modern alternate options,” Brian Sikes, group chief of Cargill’s protein enterprise, mentioned on the time.

Cargill has continued to spend money on standard meat merchandise however, alongside constructing that aspect of its enterprise, has backed others providing alternate options. In Might 2019, it was introduced Cargill had additionally turn into an investor in Aleph Farms.

In February 2020, Cargill introduced it will launch its personal meat-free patties and floor merchandise aimed on the private-label and foodservice channels.

Smithfield Meals

In August 2019, the US meat main, owned by China’s WH Group, launched its personal meat-free vary.

Smithfield Meals rolled out meat alternate options within the type of breakfast patties, ‘meatballs’, burgers and starters, all marketed beneath the Pure Farmland model.

The road-up from Smithfield coated eight soy-based merchandise made with pure elements and are dairy and gluten free. Pure Farmland merchandise have been set to hit the contemporary, refrigerated sections of grocery retailers within the US in mid-September 2019.

Maple Leaf Meals

Canada’s Maple Leaf Meals has additionally been busy in meat alternate options.

In February 2017, it moved to accumulate US plant-based protein producer Lightlife Meals from private-equity agency Brynwood Companions for US$140m.

Asserting the deal, Maple Leaf claimed the acquisition establishes it as a “chief” within the US plant-based protein class via the Lightlife model, which provides refrigerated merchandise reminiscent of plant-based scorching canine, breakfast meals and burgers.

And it constructed on this in December 2017 when it entered an settlement to purchase US-based Area Roast Grain Meat Co. for US$120m.

Seattle-based Area Roast provides grain-based meat and vegan cheese merchandise to the North American market. Its vary contains sausages, frankfurters, burgers and deli slices.

In 2018, Maple Leaf created Greenleaf Meals, a brand new division to move the acquired Lightlife and Area Roast Grain Meat belongings. In 2020, via Greenleaf, Maple Leaf invested in Gathered Meals, the US firm behind the plant-based seafood model Good Catch.

OSI Group

The US-based meat provider – with greater than 60 services throughout 17 international locations – introduced in July 2019 a deal to supply the Unattainable Burger, the flagship product of one other Californian plant-based upstart, Unattainable Meals.

The contract added capability to Unattainable’s personal plant in Oakland, California. It got here as Unattainable claimed it had seen “unprecedented demand” for the burger, which made its debut in chosen eating places in 2016.

Sigma Alimentos

Additional south in Mexico, Sigma Alimentos, one of many nation’s largest suppliers of meat and dairy merchandise, has invested in plant-based meat alternate options.

In 2021, the corporate introduced it had acquired a minority stake in The Stay Inexperienced Co. (TLGC), a Chile-based provider of plant-based meat and dairy merchandise.

Sigma described TLGC as “one of the vital thrilling plant-based start-ups in Latin America”. The Santiago-based agency, arrange in 2018, has a product vary that features plant-based burger and pancake mixes, in addition to ice cream.

The corporate has additionally made strikes in plant-based meat through its Spain-based enterprise Campofrio Meals Group.

Campofrio introduced its first transfer into the plant-based protein class in June 2020.

The transfer got here three years after it launched its Campofrío Vegalia unit with the purpose of “responding to the wants of the vegetarian or flexitarian shopper”.

The Madrid-based firm launched a vegan burger made with elements together with soy and pea vegetable protein, mushrooms and sunflower oil.

Magic Burger is made on the Campofrío Frescos plant in Burgos.


The proprietor of the Unox meats model made a splash in alt-meat in 2018 with the acquisition of Netherlands-based The Vegetarian Butcher.

Unilever‘s gross sales of plant-based meat and dairy merchandise (additionally together with ice cream) have been circa EUR200m in 2019.

In November 2020, the FMCG large introduced a goal of producing annual gross sales of meat- and dairy-alternative of EUR1bn within the subsequent “5 to seven years”.

Asserting the goal, Unilever mentioned it had grown The Vegetarian Butcher’s presence to “greater than 20,000 factors of sale in 30 international locations”.

In Might 2021, Unilever introduced a “partnership” with UK-based Sufficient, which produces the Abunda myco-protein utilizing a zero-waste fermentation course of the place pure fungi are fed with renewable feedstock, reminiscent of wheat and corn.

Noel Alimentaria

The corporate, a serious title in Spain’s meat business, has made a foray into the marketplace for meat-free merchandise.

The family-owned enterprise launched its first meat-alternative gadgets, an alternative to a veal burger, in 2019.

In the summertime of 2020, Noel Alimentaria introduced the event of extra merchandise, all offered beneath the Nature sub-brand.


The Nordic meat processor’s presence in meat-free contains the manufacturing and advertising of meat-free merchandise beneath its Pärsons model in Sweden in 2016.

In November 2019, the corporate teamed up with Hes-Professional (Finland) to develop plant-based protein merchandise, with the primary meals from that partnership launched the next autumn beneath the HK Vihreät model.

In Might 2020, HKScan expanded additional into the plant-based market with a three way partnership with Finland-based personal bakery enterprise Leivon Leipomo. Six months later, the group inked a deal to promote Apetit’s plant-based merchandise within the Swedish foodservice channel, with distribution beginning in February 2021.

Bell Meals Group

European packaged meats provider Bell Meals Group is one other to have invested in lab-grown meat.

In July 2018, the comfort meals provider invested EUR2m (US$2.4m) in Mosa Meat, a cultured-beef start-up primarily based within the Netherlands.

“The target of the upcoming improvement section is to efficiently deliver cultured beef to market by 2021,” Bell mentioned. “The Bell Meals Group helps the event and analysis work [at Mosa Meat] with its experience and know-how as one of many main producers of meat and charcuterie merchandise in Europe.”

Mosa Meat additionally attracted funding from M Ventures, the company enterprise capital arm of science and expertise firm Merck.

Bell has invested additional in Mosa Meat since, most lately in July 2020.

The corporate additionally has plant-based meat alternate options in its product vary. Bell sells merchandise in Switzerland and Germany, advertising plant-based choices beneath its The Inexperienced Mountain model.

Hilton Meals Group

In October 2018, the UK-based meat processor Hilton Meals Group struck a deal to purchase 50% of Dalco Meals, a provider of vegetarian merchandise within the Netherlands.

The transaction, agreed for an undisclosed sum, offers Hilton an choice to purchase the remainder of Dalco Meals in 2024.

In keeping with the Dalco Meals web site, the corporate began life as a butcher’s store within the centre of Oss, a metropolis within the east of the Netherlands, in 1975.

Dalco Meals’s product line contains meat substitutes reminiscent of vegetarian burgers. It additionally contains merchandise like hen nuggets and meatballs.

The enterprise’ buyer base takes in retailers on a private-label foundation, the foodservice channel and meals producers.

Rastelli Meals Group

Within the autumn of 2019, US-based meat and seafood provider Rastelli Meals Group was signed up by Transferring Mountains because the UK-based meat-free enterprise’ importer and “key distributor” within the nation.

On the finish of the 12 months, Rastelli Meals Group additionally agreed to behave as US distributor for UK meat-free start-up Daring Meals.

In February 2020, Daring Meals can be planning to launch a direct-to-consumer service within the US in February supported by Rastelli Meals.

Izico Meals Group

In November 2017, Dutch frozen snack firm Izico Meals Group, which incorporates hen skewers, mini burgers and meat croquettes in its vary, added to its enterprise within the UK with the acquisition of vegetarian meals provider Goodlife Meals.

Goodlife’s vary contains vegetarian sausages and burgers equipped to the retail and foodservice channels.

Izico, which manufactures branded and private-label frozen meals merchandise, additionally has its personal vary of vegetarian and vegan merchandise.

It mentioned the “addition of Goodlife confirms the organisation’s technique to develop their UK enterprise going ahead and to cement their place as a number one provider of their chosen classes”.


The corporate, one among Europe’s largest poultry processors, has made – or been concerned in – quite a few investments in companies providing meat alternate options.

In January 2018, PHW fashioned a strategic partnership with Israeli ‘clear meat’ enterprise SuperMeat. It supplied financing that can allow the Tel Aviv-based, bio-tech start-up to deliver its “clean-chicken merchandise” to market.

SuperMeat produces meat by rising cells extracted from chickens. The cells are then grown in situations that permit them to thrive, forming poultry cuts.

SuperMeat mentioned of its enterprise: “This course of places an finish to the economic must mass produce animals for slaughter, whereas eliminating publicity to animal waste and food-borne sicknesses; the potential advantages for public well being and animal welfare are due to this fact appreciable.”

In September 2019, PHW was a part of a consortium investing in Israel-based 3D printer different meat producing agency Redefine Meat.

In February 2020, Meals United, a US-based enterprise set as much as spend money on the plant-based market, purchased a majority stake in German vegan enterprise LikeMeat. PHW-Gruppe owns a minority stake in Meals United.

A month later, Meals United was renamed The LiveKindly Collective after buying plant-based digital media platform, LiveKindly Media. The LiveKindly Collective additionally has South Africa-based enterprise The Fry Household Meals Co. in its portfolio, in addition to the Nordic model Oumph, which was acquired from Sweden’s Meals For Progress in the summertime of 2020.

In 2021, The Livekindly Collective snapped up No Meat, the branded alternative-protein line owned by UK frozen-food retailer Iceland Meals. The identical 12 months, the corporate additionally purchased Amsterdam-based The Dutch Weed Burger, which makes alt-meat merchandise from seaweed.

In October 2020, in the meantime, PHW launched its personal vegan model, Inexperienced Legend.


Norway’s Nortura is amongst these meat corporations to have launched their very own ranges of meat-free merchandise. In 2017, Nortura launched a line of vegetarian alternate options to meat known as MEATish.

The road included MEATish bowls, nuggets, bites and burgers. It’s constructed from GMO-free soy beans and Norwegian eggs. The corporate mentioned the merchandise have “equal or increased” protein and fewer saturated fats than meat choices.

Nortura mentioned on the time it’s one among “a number of” vegetable-based initiatives it’s engaged on.


In 2015, German meat processor Wiesenhof continued its push into meat-free with the launch of two vegan merchandise.

The corporate, which already offered vegetarian strains beneath its Paul’s Veggie model, launched a vegan sausage and a vegan mortadella – an Italian sausage. The merchandise are made with pea and soy protein.

Wiesenhof pointed to information from the Vegetarierbund, Germany’s vegetarian affiliation, that it mentioned confirmed 10% of German shoppers are vegetarians.

Finnebrogue Artisan

In early 2019, the sausage, bacon and ham provider, primarily based in Northern Eire, opened a brand new facility to make vegetarian and vegan merchandise.

Asserting the funding, managing director Brian McMonagle mentioned: “We’re decided to not stand nonetheless and are all the time seeking to make meals the perfect it could actually probably be, with out being certain by the way in which it’s all the time been finished.

“Increasingly more individuals are switching to a vegan or vegetarian weight loss program – and even meat eaters are more and more searching for a day or two off every week.”

In Might 2020 it launched a brand new plant-based vary, consisting of Bare ‘made with out the moo’ burgers, meatballs and mince merchandise and Bare ‘made with out the oink’ sausages.

The Black Farmer

In April 2018, The Black Farmer, a UK meals enterprise greatest identified for sausages and different meat merchandise, launched The Hatchery, a collaborative incubator for meals entrepreneurs.

The primary cohort was made up of three companies, one among which is London-based Planet Jason which makes vegan burgers and sausages. meatless mince and chicken-type merchandise.

Heck Meals

The UK sausage maker branched out into meat-free merchandise within the autumn of 2018, launching a spread of plant-based sausages, with product names together with The Beet Goes On and Bollywood.

ABP Meals Group

Eire-based meat processor ABP Meals Group introduced it was transferring into the plant-based enviornment in February 2019.

The County Louth enterprise launched its first contemporary plant-based, meat-free model for distribution within the UK.

Its model is named Equals and is being offered via main UK retailers together with Asda.

The corporate mentioned the transfer was a part of its “multi-million pound” funding in branded and ready-to-cook meat and meat-free merchandise which enhance its core processing enterprise.

Equals’ launch product was a pack of two meat-free quarterpounder burgers, constructed from a mixture of seasoned pea and soy proteins.

The model was delisted and, in 2021, ABP launched one other model, Dopsu, within the UK. ABP rolled out a spread of frozen merchandise beneath the Dopsu model, which was a portmanteau of the phrases doppelganger and substitute.

Danish Crown

In August 2019, Denmark-based co-op Danish Crown introduced it was to launch plant-based merchandise.

The corporate mentioned it will be able to introduce plant-based alternate options to beef burgers earlier than the tip of the 12 months.

Finn Klostermann, CEO of Danish Crown Beef, mentioned: “Danish Crown Beef already has a number of hybrid merchandise composed of minced beef and root greens within the chilled cupboards, they’ll quickly be joined by merchandise made totally of vegetation. Earlier than the tip of the 12 months a plant-based burger might be part of our product vary.”

Klostermann mentioned the co-op was responding to shopper demand.

In autumn 2020, Danish Crown confirmed it had acquired a stake in a neighborhood enterprise making steak merchandise focused at flexitarians and vegetarians.

The corporate invested in INFoods, a brand new enterprise arrange by the founders of DK-Meals, the Danish pepperoni producer Danish Crown acquired in 2018.


The UK-based meat processor owned by Danish Crown up till October 2019 moved into the vegan market that very same month.

Tulip launched a model, The Inexperienced Butcher, and began promoting merchandise via UK grocer The Co-op.

US poultry provider Pilgrim’s Delight acquired Tulip for US$290m. Pilgrim’s Delight is majority-owned by JBS.

Hormel Meals

US-based Hormel Meals launched a meat different model within the form of Comfortable Little Vegetation in September 2019.

The Austin, Minnesota-based branded meals firm – behind merchandise reminiscent of Skippy, Spam and Applegate – introduced the launch on the Barclays International Shopper Staples Convention in Boston.

It mentioned the initiative, mooted again in June, is the primary venture beneath its Cultivated Meals umbrella.

It had beforehand launched blended meat and vegetable merchandise.

Kerry Group

Eire’s Kerry Group expanded into the choice protein market in September 2019 with the launch of a meat-free model of its Richmond sausages – and a brand new vary beneath the Bare Glory model.

Vion Meals Group

Netherlands-based meat enterprise Vion Meals Group introduced in October 2019 it was to determine an arm manufacturing plant-based meat alternate options.

ME-AT was to offer merchandise on a personal label foundation to retailers, most probably in its dwelling market and in Germany.

There have been no plans to deliver out branded merchandise utilizing the ME-AT label.

Vion did not disclose which proteins might be utilized in its 5 deliberate merchandise.

Kepak Group

Eire’s Kepak is one other firm to hunt to faucet into the curiosity in vegetarian manufacturers.

In January 2020, Kepak introduced it was rolling out a vegetarian product beneath its ready-to-cook burger model Rustlers.

The Rustlers Moroccan Vegetarian Burger – which had a really useful retail worth of GBP2 (US$2.60 on the prevailing trade charge) – is made with chickpeas, carrot and coriander. Each Rustlers comes with a sachet of sauce and the veggie product is offered with mango chutney and a yogurt-and-mint sauce.

NH Meals

Within the spring of 2020, the Japanese group, dwelling to companies together with Nippon Ham, was introduced as amongst a gaggle of traders participating in a Sequence A spherical of funding in IntegriCulture, a Japanese agency creating cell-based meals.

A spokesperson for NH Meals instructed just-food on the time: “By strengthening the collaboration via this funding, we are going to speed up technological analysis for the realisation of unpolluted meat and verification of future enterprise potentialities. IntegriCulture is a start-up firm that has helpful expertise in creating clear meat and is actively taking over the problem of market creation.”

IntegriCulture’s key goals are to deliver cell-based foie gras to market in 2021 and processed meat in 2023. It hopes to then begin advertising cell-based beef in 2025.


The Danish producer, which sells a spread of meat merchandise, additionally provides natural, meat-free meals and, in 2020, stepped up its presence available in the market for meat alternate options by buying native plant-based ready-meals producer Fairdig.

Cees Kuypers, the business director and co-owner of Hanegal, mentioned on the time: “The acquisition is strategically vital to us as we thereby strengthen our place in plant-based prepared meals. The acquisition offers us a very good place to begin for additional enlargement – and particularly within the frozen class and in export markets the place Lise-Lotte has intensive expertise.”

Scandi Customary

The Nordic hen group, fashioned in 2013 by private-equity home CapVest via the mixture of processors Kronfågel and Cardinal Meals, owns poultry manufacturers throughout western Europe.

Within the autumn of 2020, Scandi Customary introduced a plan to work with native food-development agency Veg of Lund in R&D initiatives centring on plant-based protein.

Century Pacific Meals

Century Pacific Meals, a meat and seafood merchandise producer within the Philippines, moved into alt-meat in 2020.

The publicly-listed enterprise began off with plant-based burgers, which have been rolled out within the firm’s foodservice operation – Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures – in October.

Century Pacific then launched a model, UnMeat, into the nation’s retail sector.

Charoen Pokphand Meals

In Might 2021, the Thailand-based pork and poultry heavyweight unveiled plant-based model Meat Zero and introduced an ambition for it to turn into a top-three alt-meat model globally inside 5 years.

On its strategy to that aim, Charoen Pokphand Meals needs the model to be the highest different meat model in Asia “inside 2022”.

Al Islami Meals

Center East producer Al Islami Meals made its meat-free debut with the launch of a plant-based burger in January 2021.

The United Arab Emirates-based firm, one of many largest frozen meals corporations within the area, mentioned it had launched the product in response to the rising urge for food for more healthy vegan choices and in time for Veganuary, a worldwide marketing campaign that encourages folks to strive a plant-based weight loss program within the New Yr.

Its burger is made utilizing sunflower protein, fava beans and peas and is the primary in a sequence of plant-based merchandise that the corporate deliberate to roll out.

Jensen Meat Co.

In 2021, the California-based beef processor broke floor on a devoted facility for meat alternate options as a result of be operational in April that 12 months.

The venture got here beneath a 12 months after Gregg and Jeff Hamann, who’ve owned Jensen Meat Co. since 2011, acquired a controlling curiosity in native plant-based enterprise Earlier than the Butcher.

Van Loon Group

The Netherlands-based enterprise, which is centred on meat and prepared meals, has a presence in alt-meats.

In 2019, the corporate launched meat-free model The Blue Butcher, which sells into retail and foodservice.

Two years later, Van Loon arrange The No Meat Immediately Firm, a devoted meat-free arm, to strive to broaden its enterprise within the meat-alternatives sector.

County Archer Provisions

In August 2021, the US jerky agency County Archer launched Plant-Based mostly Jerky, a meat-alternative meat snacks line made type oyster mushrooms.

It is available in BBQ, teriyaki and spiced bacon variants.

The San Bernardino, California, firm, which is greatest identified for its grass-fed beef jerky and meat sticks, prompt its new line is a “clear label snack that each flexitarians and vegetarians will love”.

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