Interestingly enough, United States meat processing giant Tyson Foods has just invested heavily in plant-based food company Beyond Meat. Tyson representatives explained that they are trying to diversify their holdings in the protein-rich food market and that investing in a company creates products for consumers trying to avoid meat is not mutually exclusive with their core mission.
Tyson’s financial commitment comes at a time when Beyond Meat is getting a lot of attention for their new product, the Beyond Burger. These plant-based patties look and taste extremely similar to actual hamburgers, and – thanks to their red beet ingredient – even “bleed” on a grill the way actual meat does. Many consumers are unable to distinguish Beyond Burgers from the real thing, and this promises to convert into a hot product in today’s health-conscious food marketplace. The Beyond Burgers are currently available in a number of states. Notably, Whole Foods outlets stock them with their meats rather than with other plant-based patties.
There is a currently a positive buzz about Beyond Meat in general and the Beyond Burger in particular. Bill Gates has invested in Beyond Meat, and it is supported by the Humane Society. Tyson Foods getting into the picture created a lot of interest, and the New York Times as well as other mainstream media outlets are now covering the company.
Personally, I think that it reflects well on Tyson as a company that they are willing to invest in a firm that produces plant-based meat substitutes; it shows that they’re adaptable and are in touch with progressive trends in consumer demand. Furthermore, as someone who avoids meat for health reasons but loves the taste of a good burger, I’m looking forward to trying out the Beyond Burger for myself.