Plant-Based Protein Food Companies Not Only Targeting Vegans, but Meat-Eaters Too

FN Media Group Presents USA News Group News Commentary


Vancouver, BC –September 21, 2021 – USA News Group  –  Competition is ramping up between manufacturers of plant-based “fake meat” products for a market share that goes beyond vegetarians and vegans, but also into the predominant meat-eating consumer base. Analytical market research is projecting that the plant-based protein market is set to reach $21.23 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 9.5% along the way. For many consumers the gap in both taste profiles, and price points is closing, as plant-based proteins are becoming more and more competitive, with new products coming out from large fast-food chains like Yum! Brands, Inc. (YUM) and McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD), which work well with plant-based proteins and CPG specialists such as Beyond Meat, Inc. (NASDAQ:BYND), Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE:CAG), and newly-public Nepra Foods (CSE:NPRA).


Nepra Foods (CSE:NPRA) provides proprietary ingredients and processes to major national brands, and launching its own products directly to consumers. Having already established a network for supply chain management and distribution around the world, Nepra Foods hit the ground running following its recent IPO.


At the forefront of Nepra’s offerings are the company’s hemp-based protein products, backed by a proprietary ingredient called THPTM (Textured Hemp Protein)—all of which are Non-Soy, Non-GMO, Allergen-Free and Gluten-Free.


The company has decades of experience in the industry, having successfully helped many national brands take products from concept to market with new ingredients and technical know-how.


Their multicategory, plant-based foods that include frozen meals, plant-based dairy, salty snacks, and meat alternatives that are high in protein and fiber, lower in carbohydrates, and are truly nutritious.


Among the company’s management are Co-Founder, CEO & Director David Wood, and Chief Innovation Officer & Director Chadwick White, who were both involved with the success of Udi’s Gluten Free Foods, which was sold to what is now Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE:CAG) in 2012 for US$125 million.


Another acquisition that’s paying off for Conagra Brands, Inc. (CAG) is its Gardein plant-based meat brand, which generated retail sales of $170 million over the last year—up 33.5% versus two years ago.


“We are encouraged by the growth that is coming from meat eaters in this space,” said Ashley Lind, Senior Director, Consumer Insights, Predictive Science at Conagra Brands in an interview with FoodNavigator-USA. “Meat eaters represent 95% of the total population and represent almost 80% of buyers of the plant-based meat alternative category, and their growth rates in terms of both new buyers and dollar spend is also outpacing that of vegan and vegetarian counterparts.”


In an effort to woo those meat eaters over, a collaboration between McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) and Beyond Meat, Inc. (NASDAQ:BYND) seems to have won over taste testers in the UK’s Mirror online publication, describing the new McPlant burger to have a taste that’s “just like beef”.


It’s clear from the launch that the fast food giant isn’t just targeting vegetarians, instead also focusins on appealing to flexitarians, people who enjoy a mainly eat a vegetarian diet but occasionally eat meat.


According to a McDonald’s spokesperson said the McPlant is “all about giving customers more choices”. McDs has also described the McPlant as delivering “our iconic taste in a sink-your-teeth-in (and wipe-your-mouth) kind of sandwich”.


World-famous friend chicken chain KFCowned by parent company Conagra Brands, Inc. (CAG)—is also working to replicate its trademark offering, which began through a collaboration with Beyond Meat.


So far, a plant-based faux chicken nugget with Beyond Meat’s help has been tested, but not yet taken nationwide. Beyond Meat noted in an email to CNBC that its chicken tenders, based on the Faba bean, came out just as restaurants were experiencing shortages and price hikes on the supply side and consumer demand was skyrocketing.


In an interview with Bloomberg, KFC’s US President, Kevin Hochman said, “What we’re trying to replicate is a tenderloin where you actually have the muscle fibers. The texture is a bit more pleasing than what we’d call a chewed-and-glued. It’s a different technology.”


Many innovations are still on the way, as producers look to replicate beef, chicken, and even fish. As new shortages seem to be arising, there is potential for meat alternatives to fill the gap.


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USA News Group



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