Beyond Meat’s Protein Supplier Envisions a World ‘Powered by Plants’

Photo Credit: Thomas Kroeger/imageBROKER/Shutterstock
June 6, 2019

By Taylor Craig

As Beyond Meat's ($BYND) shares soared once again after its impressive first earnings report, one private company is reaping the rewards of the plant-based meat craze.

Puris, which harvests and extracts pea protein for companies like Beyond Meat, wants meat-eaters to understand the sustainability and deliciousness of its product.

Former NFL player Tyler Lorenzen is the CEO and president of Puris ー and he joined Cheddar to discuss how his business has been able to capitalize on changing consumer habits.

"When you look at the space, [there's] a bunch of different reasons that consumers are asking for different types of food," Lorenzen said. "There's a shift in the way food used to be ate and made … from animals to the new way to do it that's powered by plants."

Puris works with over 400 farmers in the U.S. by selling yellow field pea seeds before purchasing them back after they grow.

"Peas have about 20 to 25 percent protein in them and we take that protein out," Lorenzen said, explaining Puris' process. "It's then ultimately an 80 percent protein product that you can find in nutrition bars or protein shakes … or plant-based meat which is certainly the craze in the marketplace today."

Lorenzen says that in addition to being a healthy product for the consumer, yellow field peas help fertilize the soil and would ideally take the place of livestock, which has a much bigger carbon footprint.

"[Consumers] want healthy foods for people and planet ... something that gives more than it takes," Lorenzen said. "If you look at plant-based nutrition, it can deliver on everything that you want in food and also taste great."

As with Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, Puris sees value in trying to convert meat-eaters rather than focusing on the small segment of the population that identifies as vegan or vegetarian.

"If you can turn 'Meatless Monday' into a meatless week, into a meatless month, and it tastes extremely good, why wouldn't you?"