Perdue Explores Non-Meat Options as Plant Protein Appetite Grows
Alternatives to meat, whether made from plants or animal-free meat grown in labs, have emerged as one of the hottest food trends as consumers try to cut meat consumption. Sales of alternative proteins are dwarfed by the $49 billion red meat and chicken market, but they’ll grow 17 percent a year to $863 million in 2021, CoBank estimates.
Cargill Inc. and Tyson Foods Inc. are among those investing in cellular agriculture companies such as Memphis Meats Inc., while plant-based burger companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have attracted hefty venture capital funding from the likes of Bill Gates and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Perdue has no plans yet to join Cargill and Tyson in cellular agriculture. “That’s really, really, really in its infancy and there may be an option sometime down the road,” he said. “We would want to do a lot of research on how the consumer views that.”