Interview Synopsis

US plant-based meats – industry update

  • Multi Asset
  • Consumer
  • Europe

Interest in plant-based meats has skyrocketed in recent years – and the industry has responded with new, improved products, with burgers flipping from mushy vegetable patties to more realistic mock beef being one example. To look more into this sector and how COVID-19 is affecting demand, Third Bridge Forum interviewed a former senior executive from Tyson Ventures at Tyson Foods Inc.

Could coronavirus serve as a driver for plant-based protein uptake?

The Interview started with the specialist giving an estimate of this market’s value in the US and outlining its growth. There is increasing interest in using yellow pea protein rather than soy, owing to allergen issues. However, there’s concern that yellow pea could result in the same issues in future, as it belongs to the same family as soy. As a result “producers are working on diversifying their protein source to other pulses… that may not have the same allergen characteristic.” 

A range of drivers are fuelling demand for mock meats, for instance health and wellness, the environment, and animal welfare. The coronavirus pandemic could be another – not only has there been a rush to stockpile animal protein, encouraging people to look at alternative sources, but the media has also reported instances of slaughterhouses acting as virus hotspots, triggering safety concerns.

The split between retail and foodservice and future market outlook, including the consequences of a potential recession, were also discussed. Another near-term development is cell-based meats, which could be commercialised in about five years’ time. “We continue to look at plant-based as interesting from a brand perspective, but from a system perspective, cell-based protein is much more interesting.”  

To access all the human insights from Third Bridge Forum’s US Plant-based Meats – Industry Update Interview, click here to view the full transcript.

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The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.

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