Beyond Meat has recently signed up to distribute its products across 4,500 wholesalers across China. Others could follow a similar model too as they tap into the Asian markets.
While vegan foods have been around, an entire industry is now ready to go global as the vegan meat industry.
Consumers are loving it and preferring it over other options. If there is one mega shift in global food habits, it could well be this. Companies are following their consumers and innovating to offer vegan meat.
While vegan foods have been around, an entire industry is now ready to go global as the vegan meat industry. For a variety of reasons, more and more people are choosing vegan meat. Supermarkets have a growing number of these innovative products on their shelves. These brands may be meat-free but are not any less with taste.
The emerging opportunity around the globe is massive. Nifty companies have made the mark with their products while Amazon-owned Whole Foods is taking on the likes of Kroger, Beyond Meat, Albertsons Companies, Tyson Foods, Maple Leaf Foods, and others.
Some may position vegan meat as an alternative, others are choosing to call it mainstream since the idea of staying away from meat is fast expanding into a habit. The palate and the stomach have now been decidedly won over by some companies. There is room for a lot more as the trend catches on.
Investing in new food habits
In 1984, the indomitable former Ford Motor Company CEO Lee Lacocca wrote his autobiography. He quoted his father as teaching him a business lesson, “If you are ever in trouble in business, get down to food business. Because people have to eat,” he was told.
The lessons Lacocca learned could be good for companies to follow today. People are getting used to a new kind of food habit. Some are doing it because they believe in the idea of staying away from animal meat. Others believe it serves a greater cause and have opted for it. It is the changing habit that could be tapped.
Alternatives to meat in a variety of forms are getting shelf space too. Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND), for example, gives consumers an option to opt for its burgers, sausages, or nuggets with very realistic taste and texture. Pair them with fries or anything else and the meal could turn wholesome.
The giants in the food industry, including Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN), are also looking at an opportunity where lesser animal meat will be consumed and investing in innovative food companies.
Funds are making a beeline for companies that are riding the trend. A $100 million fund has been scouting for opportunities. Since the change is happening around the globe, there is no dearth of options.
Ready to expand
Over the last few weeks, as people stayed indoors, vegan meat companies have been on a roll. They are increasingly looking at offering their products through large retail stores as well as food retailers.
Beyond Meat has recently signed up to distribute its products across 4,500 wholesalers across China. Others could follow a similar model too as they tap into the Asian markets. When it announced its quarterly numbers in April-end, Maple Leaf Foods spoke about the shift towards “sustainable meats” and “increased exports to China and Japan”.
The global pandemic has also reset the meat industry. The supply chain has been disrupted and uncertainty is giving companies an opportunity. Founded in 2011, Impossible Foods championed the market for meatless burgers. It has now set itself a daunting challenge, as it looks at the post-pandemic opportunity. It wants to replace all meat with plant-based alternatives.
If Impossible Foods does succeed, it could possibly have competition for lunch!