Beyond Meat CEO Defends Tyson Investment

Ethan Brown explains his decision to strike a deal with Tyson in an effort to bring plant-based meat mainstream.

On the heels of the announcement that meat company Tyson Foods invested in Beyond Meat to hold a five percent stake in the plant-based company, Beyond Meat CEO penned a provocative blog entry explaining his motivation to go forth with the deal. Brown reveals that Tyson “touches two of five plates in the United States,” and states that, “the investment provides an opportunity for each party to get to know one another and to explore possible collaborations.” Brown reports that sales of the vegan Beyond Burger—housed in the meat case at select Whole Foods Markets—are encouraging, and point to how shoppers “of varied dietary stripes” are interested in the company’s plant-based alternative to beef. The investment has raised eyebrows on both sides—from vegans who believe Beyond Meat’s relationship with Tyson is unsettling, and conversely, disapproval from Tyson stakeholders. “I don't expect to change Tyson,” Brown says, “Nor does Tyson expect to change me.” Instead, Brown believes this “nascent relationship” is “a sign that we may be moving beyond Oprah v. Cattlemen and toward productive collaboration that expands consumer choice.” Brown explains that his intentions remain rooted in the same goal he’s held all along, which is to build meat from plants. Brown compares animal meat to a landline phone and plant-based meat to an iPhone and asks, “How many of us staunchly defend the landline against the iPhone, or demonize the landline in favor of the iPhone?” Ultimately, according to Brown, the decision lies with the consumer. “Both are phones, just made differently, and the consumer decides.”

More News

Vegan Senator Cory Booker Launches Podcast

The senator launched his Lift Every Voice podcast on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to elevate the voices of activists fighting for social justice.
Read More »

Danone Shuts Down its Milk Business in India

The French company—which recently acquired plant-based brands Silk, So Delicious, and Vega—discontinued its non-profitable dairy line in India to focus on more nutritional products.
Read More »

Will Algae Be the Hottest New Plant-Based Protein?

San Diego scientists believe a strain of wild algae will be a sustainable way to feed plant-based protein to the growing global population.
Read More »

Miyoko's Kitchen Debuts Three Vegan Pub Cheeses

The artisanal vegan cheese brand is stepping into the new year with new packaging and a line of new flavors.
Read More »

Ben & Jerry's Debuts Two New Vegan Ice Cream Flavors

Non-dairy pints now comprise 20 percent of the iconic ice cream brand's products thanks to the addition of two vegan versions of fan-favorite flavors.
Read More »

This Week on VegNews TV: The secret to these delightful sweet treats is white beans! Aylin Erman shows you how to make these simple blondies.

More Videos »