Cargill—one of the world’s largest privately held companies—just announced it would release plant-based hamburger patties and ground meat this April.
The 155-year-old company is known for trading crops and supplying ground beef. This decision to enter a new market underscores the soaring demand for plant-based meat. Cargill will offer plant-based burgers and grounds made from soy or pea protein to customers and retailers to sell under their own labels.
Elizabeth Gutschenritter, managing director of Cargill’s alternative protein team, stated:
We’ve created some of the best-tasting products available in the plant-based category today. We’ve combined our deep knowledge of plant proteins with our expertise in research and development, product development, and production to deliver products consumers will love.
Cargill has also invested millions of dollars in North America’s largest pea protein supplier, Puris. The investment will greatly increase Puris’s production capacity and ensure companies like Cargill and Beyond Meat can keep up with demand.
Cargill isn’t the only major company to embrace plant-based meat. Last year, Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, launched plant-based burgers, breakfast patties, meatballs, and more. Smithfield created the soy-based line under its Pure Farmland brand, and all of the products are made in the USA with natural flavors.
Also last year, Kellogg launched its “Incogmeato” plant-based burger patties, chicken nuggets, and chicken tenders under its MorningStar brand, promising an extended rollout of the products this year. And Nestlé—the world's largest company—got into the game with its Awesome Burger.
Bruce Friedrich, executive director of The Good Food Institute, had this to say about the surge of companies creating their own vegan meats:
When the biggest food and meat companies in the world are launching plant-based meat products, that will do more to mainstream plant-based meats and to make the pie significantly bigger than probably anything else.
Every time consumers buy plant-based products over animal-based ones, they send a clear message to companies like Cargill, Smithfield, and Nestlé and move us closer to a more sustainable and compassionate food system. Download a FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide, and start making a difference today!