Canadian meat brand Maple Leaf Foods announced this week the launch of its plant-based subsidiary company Greenleaf Foods. The new company is an independently operated subsidiary of Maple Leaf Foods headquartered in Chicago and guided by principles of sustainability, social purpose, and progressing the plant-based food industry. Maple Leaf Foods’ two plant-based brands—Field Roast Grain Meat Co. and Lightlife Foods, which it acquired for $120 million and $140 million, respectively—are now a part of Greenleaf, which will actively seek out new plant-based brands to add to its portfolio. “We have established leading brands that are known for delicious, high-quality products, and we are excited to build on and invest in that expertise to drive innovation and accelerate our growth,” Greenleaf president Dan Curtin said. “Leadership in the fast-growing plant-based protein market is fundamental to pursuing Maple Leaf Foods’ broader vision to be the most sustainable protein company on earth.” Other major companies that previously focused primarily on meat and dairy products are transitioning to encompass broader market segments. After investing in plant-based meat brand Beyond Meat, and clean-meat startups Memphis Meats and Future Meat Technologies, Tyson is now positioning itself as a “protein” company that is not limited to animal-derived meat products. Similarly, after its $12.5 billion acquisition of WhiteWave Foods (the parent company of vegan brands Silk, So Delicious, Vega, and Alpro), Danone now refers to itself as a “food company” to reduce the emphasis on its dairy-based brands.
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