In response to a growing demand for meat alternatives, Cargill has unveiled plans for its first plant-based meat products, which will arrive in stores and restaurants in early April.
After investing in alternative protein for the last five years, the company has developed its own private label of patties and ground plant-based products, which will be available globally.
“This is a natural next step in our inclusive approach to the future of protein––advancing both animal and alternative protein to meet growing global demand. We are bringing something to our customers around the world that addresses unmet needs––in reach, supply chain efficiencies, private label options and rapid ingredient innovation,” spokesperson Becky Dvorak said via email.
To date, Cargill has invested $117.1 million in Puris, a Minnesota-based pea protein company. Most recently, in August, Cargill provided Puris with $75 million to expand pea production. One of the suppliers for Cargill’s new meatless meat products, Puris also supplies Beyond Meat with plant-based protein.
“We’re energized by the growth we see in plant-based protein products,” Dvorak said. “We now have two great products we’re able to scale quickly to meet demand. Plant-based products are an important complement to the full mix of sustainable, safe, great-tasting products we deliver today. We need to keep all protein options on the table.”
Cargill has also recently invested in the cell-based protein sphere, with funds being funneled to Memphis Meats and Aleph Farms, which is working on growing things like steak. The company declined to share the amount of these investments.
But in the last five years, Cargill invested $7 billion in animal protein.
“These new private label retail food and foodservice products in no way signal a lessening of Cargill’s support for animal protein production,” Dvorak said.