SPRINGDALE, Ark. – One of the world’s leading meat and poultry processors has invested in a company with a stated mission to reduce global meat consumption. Tyson Foods Inc. announced Oct. 10 that it had acquired a 5 percent stake in El Segundo, California-based Beyond Meat, which manufactures plant-based meat substitutes.
Beyond Meat makes meatless alternatives that have the taste and texture of animal protein. The company makes alternatives to meatballs, chicken strips and tenders, beef crumbles and burger patties. The products are made with soy or pea protein, and are free of gluten, dairy, trans fats, cholesterols and GMO ingredients.
“We’re enthusiastic about this investment, which gives us exposure to a fast-growing segment of the protein market,” said Monica McGurk, executive vice president of strategy and new ventures & foodservice at Tyson Foods. “It meets our desire to offer consumers choices and to consider how we can serve an ever-growing and diverse global population, while remaining focused on our core prepared foods and animal protein businesses.”
Beyond Meat will remain an independent privately held company led by Ethan Brown, CEO and founder of Beyond Meat. The additional capital, provided through a fundraising initiative by Beyond Meat, will provide the plant protein maker the means to expand its product portfolio and broaden distribution for its products.
“This investment by Tyson Foods underscores the growing market for plant protein,” Brown said in a statement. “I’m pleased to welcome Tyson as an investor and look forward to leveraging this support to broaden the availability of plant protein choices to consumers.”
In addition to expanding its products to more consumers, the company’s mission, among other initiatives, is to reduce global meat consumption by 25 percent by 2020. The company also hopes to improve animal welfare, increase awareness about global climate change and conserve global resources. Beyond Meat products can be found in 10,000 grocery stores, including Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, Target and Kroger.