Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods and other producers of plant-based imitation meat products are about to see another player enter the expanding field, this time from one of the world’s biggest privately held agriculture commodities and food ingredients companies.
Minnetonka, Minnesota-headquartered Cargill announced on February 24 that its new private label plant-based hamburger patties and faux ground meat products will hit retailers shelves and be distributed to restaurant operators in North America by early April.
The offerings are part of the international company’s inclusive approach to the future of protein – advancing both animal and alternative protein products to meet the expected 70% growth in global demand for protein over the next 30 years.
The soy and pea protein-based products, which were developed through culinary insight, extensive consumer research and innovation, are made in Cargill facilities and presented as “an important next step in bringing more protein options to retail stores, cafeterias, fast food outlets, restaurants and other global locations.”
“We’ve created some of the best tasting products available in the plant-based category today,” said Elizabeth Gutschenritter, managing director of Cargill’s alternative protein team. “We’ve combined our deep knowledge of plant proteins with our expertise in R&D, product development and production to deliver products consumers will love.”
“Cargill has a strong history of providing high-quality protein products to customers,” said Gutschenritter. “Producing plant-based products across our global supply chain is the logical next step to expanding our ability to meet consumer needs and bring new value to this category.”
Brian Sikes, leader of he company’s global protein and salt business, commented: “Cargill’s strategy for both food and feed is based on helping customers thrive in a world where demand for protein is rising.”
Cargill, which generated almost $114.7 billion in sales during 2018, has invested $7 billion globally in animal protein in the last five years, while making strategic investments in the alternative protein space.
“We need to keep all protein options on the table,” said Sikes. “Whether you are eating alternative or animal protein, Cargill will be at the center of the plate.”