Sausage Executive Says Future is Plant-Based

Applegate's Nina Asoudegan thinks diversifying the meat-based company to include more plant protein will help move the company into the modern era.

Senior director of mission at meat company Applegate (a Hormel brand) Nina Asoudegan recently spoke with food media outlet Foodnavigator about the changes in consumer perception toward meat. Asoudegan spoke about the growing consumer demand for transparency within the meat industry. “People turned a blind eye for many years, but when they started to see how animals were produced and put into gestation crates, and they started to ask more and more questions,” Asoudegan said, “it really pulled the curtain back on the industry.” The executive predicted that the amount of meat people consume will decline in coming years and looked to plant-based protein as a source of potential revenue for Applegate. “I think Applegate might be looking at itself not only as a meat company like we have been for years, but as a food company,” Asoudegan continued. “Maybe a company that seeks protein … not just from animals, obviously. Look at what we see with the rise in all the plant protein and the companies like Beyond Meat. I mean, I think this is really indicative of the future." Earlier this month, Tom Hayes—CEO of meat company Tyson, which recently invested in vegan company Beyond Meat—had a similar opinion regarding the future of protein, stating, “Plant-based protein is growing almost, at this point, a little faster than animal-based, so I think the migration may continue in that direction.”

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