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Beyond Meat and PepsiCo Launch Plant-Based Jerky

Beyond Meat and PepsiCo Launch Plant-Based Jerky

Beyond Meat Jerky will be available in three flavors: Original, Teriyaki and Hot & Spicy, and come in three different pack sizes. Photo courtesy of Beyond Meat.

Beyond Meat and PepsiCo are coming together to launch a plant-based jerky in the US. In 2021, the two food giants teamed up for their Planet Partnership, a joint venture seeking “to develop, produce and market innovative snack and beverage products made from plant-based protein.” The first products of that deal are three varieties of Beyond Meat Jerky.

Like meat-based jerky, Beyond Meat said its plant-based jerky is marinated and slow roasted. The difference, however, is the ingredients, with peas and mung beans at the top of the ingredient list. The jerky offers ten grams of protein without any cholesterol, GMOs, soy or gluten and comes in three flavors: Original, Teriyaki and Hot & Spicy.

“The nationwide launch of Beyond Meat Jerky will make plant-based meat accessible to millions of households. It tastes great, it’s a good source of protein, and it’s convenient to eat whether you’re on the go, at the office or out on adventures,” said Dan Moisan, CEO of Planet Partnership, in a press release.

Related: Will Plant-Based Meat Prices Ever Be Lower Than Real Meat?

While Beyond Meat is known for its plant-based meat analogues, this is the company’s first shelf-stable product. That, plus PepsiCo is also a master of distribution. The soda and snacking giant has massive retail reach and infrastructure and can get the product on more shelves. Its Frito-Lay snacking division also owns meat jerky brand Matador, meaning it has all the inroads necessary to get Beyond Meat Jerky to reach consumers.

On Beyond Meat’s last earnings call, CEO Ethan Brown broke down the many complex reasons that US retail sales were down 19.5 percent compared to the previous year. But he said that the first product from the joint venture with PepsiCo was a reason to be optimistic about the future. 

This isn’t the only plant-based jerky available on the market. Nestlé’s Sweet Earth, Conagra’s Gardein and Krave already have plant-based jerky products available. Since this is becoming a crowded segment, Beyond Meat and the Planet Partnership need to execute well on all fronts and stand out among not only the alternative jerkies, but also among the entire meat-based segment.

According to research by Technavia, the global meat snacks market is set to grow by $4.14 billion between 2020 and 2025, accelerating at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost nine percent during the forecast period. Sales of plant-based jerky options remain tiny by comparison. The Good Food Institute (GFI), a non-governmental organization (NGO) advocating for alternative proteins, published data that estimated plant-based jerky sales reached only $3.9 million for the year ending in April 2019. 

But out of all the snacking segments to delve into, jerky’s popularity among Americans makes it a good place for this partnership between Beyond Meat and PepsiCo to start. According to consumer surveys from YouGov conducted in late 2021, 58 percent of participants like jerky products. Beyond Meat Jerky will be available in three different pack sizes and anywhere traditional jerky can be found, like grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies.