Tyson Foods, the largest U.S. meat processor, said on Thursday it slightly raised its stake in plant-based protein maker Beyond Meat as it looks to tap growing demand for alternative sources of protein.
The company, which already owns a 5 percent stake in Beyond Meat, said it participated in the most recent funding round through its venture capital fund. Details of the investment were not disclosed.
California-based Beyond Meat sells plant-based burger patties, heat-and-eat meals and non-GMO soy and pea protein frozen foods at grocery chains such as Amazon.com Inc’s Whole Foods Market, Publix and Albertsons Cos Inc’s Safeway.
Traditional meat sales have come under pressure on growing concerns about animal welfare and the environmental impact of intensive animal farming, apart from a rising perception of vegetarian meals as healthier.
U.S. companies such as Beyond Meat and MorningStar Farms, owned by the world’s largest cereal maker, Kellogg Co (K.N), are leading the charge in the meat substitute market.
The industry could reap $5.2 billion in sales by 2020, according to Oregon-based Allied Market Research (AMR), an 8.4 percent rise from 2015.
By Uday Sampath
Upside Foods has become the first company in the world to receive a “No Questions” letter from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cultivated meat, poultry or seafood, which means the government food agency accepts Upside’s conclusion that its cultivated chicken is safe to eat.
While inflation and heightened interest rates have created the threat of a possible recession, Technomic’s first trend predicts the impact on the foodservice industry to be relatively mild. The company estimates rising grocery prices will help close the value gap between dining at home or at a restaurant, incentivizing consumers to eat out.
A week after Beyond Meat, Inc., said it was pivoting to improve company performance, Oatly Group AB announced its own pivot. Following weak third-quarter results, the company is shifting to a “hybrid” manufacturing model and reducing costs in its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region through cost and headcount reductions.