Tyson Foods has launched a new range of vegetarian and mixed-protein products in a bid to compete with plant-based meat substitute companies such as Beyond Meat, which have been gaining popularity in recent years. This range, under its new Raised & Roosted brand, includes vegetarian nuggets, a beef and pea burger and sausages and meatballs that combine chicken with chickpeas, black beans and quinoa.
As the alternative protein market is expected to grow to an estimated worth of $100 billion by 2035, large players in the meat processing industry are realising the potential profitability of this market and hoping to get their slice of the share.
Doubts have been raised about Tyson’s mixed-protein approach, with analysts from Mizuho Securities USA advising that consumers wanting to cut down on their animal-protein consumption will most likely prefer a binary choice on whether to eat meat or not. These blended products, however, have the potential to become popular in the future among flexitarians looking to reduce their meat consumption but not completely cut out meat from their diets.
It is significant that meat industry giants, like Tyson Foods, are investing in plant-based protein because companies such as this already have established contacts in the industry and large available funds which give them more leveraging power in the market compared to alternative protein start-ups. Should we be concerned that profits from Tyson’s new range will still be going towards funding the environmentally damaging exploits of the meat industry or should we be thankful that plant-based proteins are becoming more commonplace?
Find out more about how the protein system is changing in Forum for the Future's latest report, The Future of Food.