We have spent a lot of energy over the years talking about transformation and taking advantage of opportunities. In February we touched on movement in the Plant-based Protein market. Well time to get the latest update on the financial side of that business and how it is penetrating the current businesses you sell to.

Let’s first focus on Beyond Meat the innovative producer of the popular The Beyond Burger, not surprising that the former CEO of McDonalds is an early investor in the company. We all know they sell a few burgers.  Tyson now owns over 5% of the Company, with them being the largest food Company in the world they surely don’t want to be left out of this growth market. The Beyond Burgers are now in over 10,000 stores and restaurants. TGI Fridays just put them on the menu. They currently are forecasting 100% growth for this year alone. Of course if you want to give it a try, just order it up on Amazon delivered right to your door.

Memphis Meats, another startup, is taking the high tech road to plant based foods by “growing” their product in the lab. That will not require any plants for their product.

Milk substitutes are also gaining more popularity in the form of soy and coconut milk products now accounting for 8% of sales in he dairy aisle in grocery stores.

A couple of the key drivers for these food products are:

  • Conservation of Resources - The current state of land and water used for conventional food will currently not feed the world, in addition the effects on the environment with methane gas and water consumption is huge. In a 2011 study calculated that growing meat in labs would cut down on the land required to produce steaks, sausages and bacon by 99 percent and reduce the associated need for water by 90 percent. What’s more, it found that a pound of lab-created meat would produce much less polluting greenhouse-gas emissions than is produced by cows and pigs, even poultry. We won’t discuss the effect on the climate for conventional food.

  • Eating Healthy - Today's growing consumer market is not baby boomers like myself but Gen-X and Y with a large Millennium population thrown in. This population is much more conscious of what they eat and as they have children they will pass that on to their children. One of the largest cause of death today is heart problems, plant based food lessens the impact on the body.

What can you do?

  • Look for suppliers of alternative protein products and present them to your Food Service customers as menu alternatives.
  • Get involved in the vegetarian movement with products that appeal more to current eating habits.
  • Watch for these dramatic changes and shift your product mix to leverage.

 

 

 

 

Issue 640 - Everything Cycles.

Transformation and disruption was a topic in an article in the Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer. I read about the demise of Sears & Roebuck titled The Big Stumble. They believed they had no competitors. The New York Times dubbed them "The Amazon of the gilded age." Those of us in the baby boom generation remember Sears.  As a young boy I remember thumbing through the catalog, dreaming of what I could buy if I had the money.

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