Daily Management Review

Agri-Giant Cargill Forays Into Plant-Based ‘Meat’ Business


Agri-Giant Cargill Forays Into Plant-Based ‘Meat’ Business
Plant based meat producing startups such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are set to face stiff competition now as the agriculture giant Cargill has just announced its plans of launching a plant-based burger by this spring.
Starting early April, the privately held Minnesota-based company will start delivering its private-label meatless patties and its ground-beef-like product to said restaurants and retailers, the company said. Plant based meat alternatives have turned out to be a growing market and a number of other global meat giants have ventured into this new niche segment.
“We need to keep all protein options on the table,” Brian Sikes, the leader of Cargill’s global protein and salt business, said in a statement. “Whether you are eating alternative or animal protein, Cargill will be at the center of the plate.”
Plant-based meat patties were introduced into fast food chains such as Burger King and Carl’s Jr by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods – which are now facing challenges from other established players in the market. Plant based products were launched last year by two of the largest meat processors of the world Tyson Foods and Smithfield Foods, both rivals of Cargill.
The announcement by Cargill of its foray into the alternative meat segment had an immediate impact on the shares of Beyond Meat which dropped by 6.3 per cent.
The company further said that the huge supply chain and scale of the company will also benefit those restaurants, retailers, cafeterias and other customers that will purchase Cargill’s plant-based products. A news release issued by the company said that Cargill makes the products in its own facilities, “delivering the taste and consistency consumers want”.
The 155 tear old company has ploughed in more than $7 billion in investments in the development of animal protein over the last five years as well as about $100 million in the development of Puris, a pea protein producer and Beyond Meat supplier since 2018.
There was no comment available from Beyond Meat about the announcement of Cargill’s foray into the segment. However, the move of Cargill was apparently welcomed by  privately held Impossible Foods.
“If Cargill makes a truly delicious and nutritious plant-based product that satisfies true omnivores — not a niche product for those who already avoid animal meat — this is a great move for people and the planet,” Rachel Konrad, Impossible’s chief communications officer, said in a statement. “The switch to a plant-based food system is inevitable, and even the livestock industry is starting to recognize and validate this transition.”