Tyson Readies Alternative-Meat Debut After Exiting Beyond
(Bloomberg) -- By the end of the year, Tyson Foods Inc.’s new alternative-meat product could already be a major player in the U.S., perhaps giving the likes of the Beyond Burger and the Impossible Burger a run for their money.
Tyson is preparing to introduce meatless protein products on a limited basis around the middle of the year and on a much larger scale soon after that, Chief Executive Officer Noel White told analysts on an earnings call Monday.
It’s likely why the top U.S. meat processor sold out of Beyond Meat Inc. just before the plant-based protein maker’s history-making stock debut last week. Tyson’s distribution network allows it to move quickly into the marketplace, and the company has a “deep understanding” of how to develop new products and brands, White said.
Tyson missed out on a huge potential windfall from Beyond IPO, selling its 6.5% stake in the startup shortly beforehand. Beyond shares rose 163 percent from the offering price on their first trading day Thursday.
While overall meat consumption is increasing globally along with purchasing power in developing countries, the number of people committing to a strictly plant-based diet has risen in rich countries, as have the ranks of occasional meat eaters.
That’s spawned an expanding array of meat substitutes, both plant-based and a new high-tech generation of products grown from animal cells in laboratories. Investors including Bill Gates are betting that the appetite for meat alternatives will mushroom.
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