SMITHFIELD, Va. — Smithfield Foods Inc. announced on Aug. 12 the launch of plant-based products under the company’s Pure Farmland brand. Some of the available items will include breakfast patties, meatballs, burger patties and pre-seasoned protein starters.

Pure-Farmland meat alternatives will be soy-based and made with natural flavors that are gluten and dairy free.

“We’re thrilled to announce the launch of this new product portfolio under our Pure Farmland brand. We’ve been exploring the alternative protein space, and have taken our time to get it right,” said John Pauley, chief commercial officer for Smithfield Foods. “With this launch, we are bringing together our expertise in creating market-leading food products, our organizational commitment to sustainability, and our deep understanding of ‘flexitarian’ consumers, to deliver a broad variety of flavorful plant-based protein choices that consumers want and can afford at a great value.”

The company said the plant-based protein will be available in retailers nationwide by mid-September.

The new products include:

  • Simply Seasoned Plant-Based Burger Patties
  • Plant-Based Burger Patties with Dairy Free Cheddar Alternative
  • Homestyle Plant-Based Meatballs
  • Italian Style Plant-Based Meatballs with Dairy Free Parmesan Alternative
  • Savory Original Plant-Based Breakfast Patties
  • Maple Plant-Based Breakfast Patties
  • Simply Seasoned Plant-Based Protein Starters
  • Mild Italian Style Plant-Based Protein Starters

Smithfield will offer the items in sustainable packaging with trays made from more than 50 percent recycled material as part of its American Farmland Trust partnership.

Increasingly, meat companies are carving a niche in the burgeoning market for plant-based alternatives. Tyson Foods Inc., recently announced the introduction of Raised & Rooted, a brand of alternative proteins that incorporates pea protein in various forms. Canadian packaged meats processor Maple Leaf Foods Inc., is making aggressive moves to capitalize on the trend through acquisitions and significant capital investment. Perdue Farms is introducing chicken nuggets, tenders and patties blended with vegetables such as cauliflower, chickpeas and plant protein.

Plant-based foods sales significantly outpaced overall grocery sales last year, according to data issued by The Good Food Institute and the Plant Based Foods Association. US retail sales of plant-based foods grew 11 percent — five times more than total food sales — bringing the total plant-based market to $4.5 billion.  The plant-based meat category grew by 10 percent and is now worth more than $800 million, according to the report. Plant-based meats accounted for 2 percent of retail packaged meat sales, with refrigerated plant-based meat growing 37 percent, the report said. Sales in the conventional meat category, in contrast, grew by 2 percent.