The plant-based meat alternatives market is set to blast off, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analysis which projects the sector to hit $162 billion by 2030. Jockeying for position in the leadup to this soon-to-be-explosive food revolution are several food tech innovators each working to unveil new products and keep up with the herd, including Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND), Kellogg Company (NYSE:K), Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE:CAG), and Oatly Group AB (NASDAQ:OTLY).
Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND)
Beyond Meat has experienced delays with the launch of its Beyond Chicken products, according to Bloomberg. Originally, Beyond was telling customers it would begin its fake poultry rollout by July, with its nuggets. However, ever since, making a satisfactory and realistic faux “whole muscle” chicken for the masses has proven difficult.
In order to be convincing, Beyond believes a chicken product has to mimic the flavor as well as the fibrousness of a chicken’s muscle. Instead, for now, it has to make a version of a chicken nugget—which the industry calls “chop and form”—a technologically simpler ground product that is more similar to a sausage or burger than an actual filet of chicken breast.
Kellogg Company (NYSE:K)
Earlier this summer, Kellogg combined its signature Eggo Waffle brand with MorningStar Farms’ Incogmeato line, to make the company’s first plant-based alternative to their classic chicken and waffles dish.
This followed after the company’s launch of Incogmeator plant-based Chik’n Tenders in April.
“Our new Incogmeato Chik'n Tenders are a game-changing experience for the flexitarian chicken-loving consumer who wants to try plant-based but isn't finding an option that stacks up to the real thing,” said Sara Young, general manager of plant-based proteins at Kellogg. “Chik'n is a huge opportunity to recruit flexitarian eaters to the meatless category; we know plant-based chik'n household penetration is just north of 5%, leaving a huge upside worth over $200-plus million.”
Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE:CAG)
Conagra Brands’ Gardein is the number two player in the frozen meat alternative category, behind Kellogg’s Morningstar Farms brand. Earlier this year, the company said the Gardein’s sales were being fueled by “growth that is coming from meat eaters in this space.”
“Meat eaters represent 95% of the total population and represent almost 80% of buyers of the plant-based meat alternative category, and their growth rates in terms of both new buyers and dollar spend is also outpacing that of vegan and vegetarian counterparts,” said Ashley Lind, senior director, consumer insights, predictive science at Conagra Brands in an interview with FoodNavigator-USA. “We expect to see plant-based opportunities to grow in foodservice as the overall industry rebounds, and we’re seeing Gardein gain share in the space.”
Oatly Group AB (NASDAQ:OTLY)
Plant-based dairy alternative innovators Oatly recently launched its newest product, non-dairy frozen dessert bars, set to hit US stores beginning in December.
“Our new non-dairy frozen dessert bars are fantastic, and I can’t wait for people to try them,” said Mike Messersmith, President, Oatly North America. “We’re proving that oatmilk is not just for coffee, cereal or cooking, but can also be the foundation for great-tasting treats to be enjoyed during celebration moments or when a pick-me-up reward is needed.”
Oatly also recently announced it opened its first Chinese factory. Known as the Ma’anshan production facility, at full capacity it has the potential to annually produce an estimated 150 million liters of oat-based products.