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World’s Largest Pork Producer Enters Plant-Based Meat Market

World’s Largest Pork Producer Enters Plant-Based Meat Market

Meat manufactures have expanded into this emerging sector to reach new clientele and increase profit.

Pork giant Smithfield Foods is officially entering the plant-based meat market. The company will be launching a variety of breakfast, lunch, dinner and appetizer options for its consumers under their new brand, Pure Farmland.

The soy-based line of meat alternatives will come in eight different flavors varying from a maple plant-based breakfast patty to homestyle plant-based meatballs. It will also include dairy-free cheddar in some of their alternative meat options.

According to data by The Good Food Institute and Plant Based Foods Association, the plant-based meat market has grown by 37 percent over the last two years, which is mostly due to an increase in popularity of the flexitarian diet.

As a result, a variety of meat manufactures — from Tyson Foods to Perdue Farms — have expanded into this emerging sector to hone in on this growing consumer base and increase profit.

John Pauley, chief commercial officer for Smithfield Foods, said the company took their time when developing the new line of alternative meat-products, ensuring quality and standards were met for their target customers.

“We’ve been exploring the alternative protein space, and have taken our time to get it right,” said Pauley. “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.”

In addition, Bruce Friedrich, the executive director at The Good Food Institute, adds that the inclusion of meat producers in the plant-based food space will only fuel growth in the market and increase awareness of this innovative food sector.

“Rather than stealing market share from pioneering plant-based meat start-ups like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, the entry of big meat into the space will create a bigger plant-based meat market sector and both incumbents and startups will benefit. Legacy meat companies can introduce plant-based meat to entirely new audiences,” said Friedrich.

Smithfield has also partnered with American Farmland Trust. The company’s plant-based products will be distributed in 50 percent recycled material and each package sold will be donated to preserving one square foot of farmland to help support local farmers and their practices.

The plant-based protein products will be available at grocery stores and other retailers nationwide by mid-Septemeber. As of now, the pork-based manufacturer has not made comments on how much their items will sell for, but with Beyond Meat products retailing for $12 dollars a pound, it’s likely consumers can expect Smithfield’s line to sell for something similar.