Tyson To Launch Plant-Based Protein Brand In Direct Competition with Beyond Meat

It is not easy to eat right all the time. Healthy foods are not always as fun as processed foods; and it is not always easy to find the time to cook.   But a change is coming as more and more consumers demand alternatives to unhealthy, fat-and-sugar-laden processed foods that provide very little nutrition.  And part of this demand is for more flavorful, convenient, and affordable alternatives to animal proteins.  

You may recall, for example, that Beyond Meat just went public; and their IPO is soaring:  opening with a $1 billion valuation, in May, and surging 500 percent since then.  This has left older meat companies, like Tyson Foods, to face a very important decision: to stick to tradition or evolve with the times.

As such, Tyson Foods has announced the launch of their very first plant-based protein brand. The move comes only months after Tyson sold its 6.5 percent stake in Beyond Meat. Tyson Foods’ Raised & Rooted label will feature vegetarian nuggets that taste more like chicken nuggets as well as blended burgers that, while still containing beef, are arguably healthier than all-beef patties. 

Tyson Foods president and CEO Noel White commented, in a press release, “Today’s consumers are seeking more protein options so we’re creating new products for the growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein.”

The company describes these new products are made primarily from pea protein.  Specifically, the nuggets will be pea protein isolate-based and composed of other plant ingredients.  They will also contain five grams of fiber as well as healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.  In addition, they will have less saturated fat than traditional nuggets. The burgers are also made with pea protein isolate, as well as Angus beef. This results in a patty with fewer calories and saturated fat than plant-based burgers sold by other companies. 

Tyson Foods Chief Marketing Officer Noelle O’Mara prides “These products appeal to a broad cross section of consumers who enjoy food from a variety of protein sources and we expect interest to continue to grow across protein types.”

With that, Tyson expects to launch the new Raised & Rooted label nuggets within the next couple of months, with the burgers rolling out during the fall quarter. The company also makes sure to note that this is probably just the beginning: it is quite likely Tyson will explore other food categories soon. 

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