Cargill enters plant-based meats category
Adding to the plant-based meat trend, arguably being led by retailer private label brands, Cargill has announced it has developed plant-based patties and ground products for retailers and foodservice clients to roll into their own brands starting in April.
The global food and agriculture company based in Minneapolis leaned on extensive consumer research and their deep knowledge of plant proteins to create a plant-based meat product that is consistent to a taste consumers are looking for, said Elizabeth Gutschenritter, managing director of Cargill’s alternative protein team. The meat-alternative is being produced at the Cargill facilities.
“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.”
In the last five years, Cargill has invested $7 billion in animal protein products globally while also making investments in developing alternative protein sources. “We need to keep all protein options on the table,” said Brian Sikes, Cargill’s leader of global protein and salt business. “Whether you are eating alternative or animal protein, Cargill will be at the center of the plate.”
Cargill is a major meat producer, employing 160,000 employees in 70 countries, so it is a big step for the company to also offer plant-based alternatives. Kroger and its Emerge and Simple Truth Plant Based line of more than 50 products, Albertsons, Aldi, Wegmans, Trader Joe’s and other retailers jumped out in front of the plant-based trend early. Cargill’s announcement will be another source to help retailers start their own plant-based meat lines or strengthen current lines.