AUSTIN, Minn. — Hormel Foods Corp. announced the launch of Happy Little Plants, a new line of soy protein-based meat substitute that could be used to replace ground meat. 

The new retail product brand is part of the company’s plant-based and blended protein offerings, which began in 2014 with the launch of the Hormel Fuse burger.

“Hormel Foods has one of the most admired brand portfolios in the industry, led by our legacy of industry-leading innovation,” said Jim Splinter, group vice president of corporate strategy at Hormel Foods. “We are continuing to build an organization that has the agility and adaptability to create products to align with today’s dynamic marketplace.”

The product features 20 grams of protein with no preservatives or cholesterol. It is also low in saturated fat, gluten-free, contains non-genetically modified ingredients and 180 calories per serving. 

“We understand consumers across a spectrum of lifestyles are adopting more flexible attitudes and behaviors when thinking about food, especially given the wide variety of products available in the marketplace,” Splinter said. “We intend to focus on all the ways plants can help consumers find alternatives in their food routines.” 

Happy Little Plants will initially be sold at select Hy-Vee grocery stores in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin. Hormel plans to add more retail locations in the coming weeks and months.