Tyson Invests in Beyond Meat, a Plant-based Protein Maker

Springdale, Arkansas-headquartered Tyson Foods has taken a 5% ownership stake in plant-based protein producer Beyond Meat, which sells products in over 11,000 stores nationwide, including Whole Foods Market and Safeway. Its portfolio ranges from faux burger patties and heat-and-eat meals to non-GMO soy and pea protein frozen foods.

The investment, terms of which were not revealed, will provide additional capital to help expand El Segundo, California-headquartered Beyond Meat’s product line and distribution. It will remain an independent, privately held operation led by Ethan Brown, founder and chief executive officer.

Brown stated: “This underscores the growing market for plant protein. I’m pleased to welcome Tyson as an investor and look forward to leveraging this support to broaden availability of plant protein choices to consumers.”

Monica McGurk, Tyson Foods’ executive vice president of strategy and new ventures and president of foodservice, added: “We’re enthusiastic about this investment, which gives us exposure to a fast-growing segment of the protein market. It meets our desire to offer consumers choices and to consider how we can serve an ever-growing and diverse global population, while remaining focused on our core prepared foods and animal protein businesses.”

beyondmeatAs part of this and prior rounds of fundraising, Beyond Meat also has secured capital from investors including The Humane Society of the United States, Bill Gates and Kleiner Perkins.

According to a Reuters report, Tyson, which ranks as the largest meat processor in the United States, made the investment “amid growing pressure on food companies to reduce environmental and health risks by changing the way they source protein.”