By Spencer Feingold
The meat producing giant Tyson Food made its debut into the meat alternative sector on Thursday, unveiling new plant-based and mixed protein products.
The initiative makes Tyson the largest meat business in the U.S. to join the growing plant-based meat craze.
“Today’s consumers are seeking more protein options so we’re creating new products for the growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein,” Noel White, the president and CEO of Tyson, said in a statement.
The product will be under an entire new brand called Raised & Rooted and include burger patties made of a combination of meat and plants, and nuggets made of pea protein and egg whites. None of Tyson’s ($TSN) new items will be fully vegan.
“For us, this is about ‘and’ – not ‘or.’ We remain firmly committed to our growing traditional meat business and expect to be a market leader in alternative protein, which is experiencing double-digit growth and could someday be a billion-dollar business for our company,” White added.
Tyson’s new brand comes as demand for plant-based foods continues to skyrocket, creating a multi-billion dollar market.
Beyond Meat ($BYND), a top leader in the meat alternative space, completed an impressive IPO last month and has since seen its stock up over 50 percent. The company also recently reported a net revenue of $40.2 million in its first round of earnings since going public, an increase of 215 percent year-over-year.
Even major fast food chains such a Burger King, which recently launched its vegetarian Impossible Whopper, have expanded their offerings to meet consumer demands for meat alternatives.
All of Tyson’s Raised & Rooted products are expected to on the shelves nationwide by this fall.
“These products appeal to a broad cross section of consumers who enjoy food from a variety of protein sources, and we expect interest to continue to grow across protein types,” Noelle O’Mara, Tyson’s chief marketing officer, said.