Cargill is the latest company to jump on the plant-based train. Today, the global food and agriculture company announced its new private label plant-based patties and ground products will hit retailers and restaurants in early April.
The new offerings are part of Cargill’s “approach to the future of protein” — advancing both animal and alternative protein products to meet the expected 70 percent growth in global demand for protein over the next 30 years.
Cargill’s new plant-based protein products are competing in the market against the likes of Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Tyson Foods and Smithfield Foods also have their own version of plant-based products.
Cargill has invested $7 billion globally in animal protein in the last five years while making strategic investments in the alternative protein space. But as the Farmer’s Daughter pointed out last week, do they make those investments wisely? For example, this announcement comes just weeks after Cargill announced it would be working with the “wellness” company GOOP, run by actress Gwenyth Paltrow.
Cargill also raised eyebrows in 2018 when it entered into a joint venture with PURIS, a pea protein company, to ramp up its plant-based protein production. According to its website, PURIS is the engine behind the plant-based food industry, providing “clean-tasting” non-GMO and Certified Organic pea protein, pea starch, and pea fiber. Cargill made an initial investment of $25 million into the company’s coffers. Cargill reaffirmed its commitment to PURIS in August 2019 when it sunk an additional $75 million into retrofitting PURIS’s facility in Minnesota.
Cargill has reiterated the importance of being able to feed the world in 2050. Brian Sikes, leader of Cargill’s global protein and salt business said, “Cargill’s strategy for both food and feed is based on helping customers thrive in a world where demand for protein is rising. We need to keep all protein options on the table. Whether you are eating alternative or animal protein, Cargill will be at the center of the plate.”