Jarrod Sutton, the vice president of marketing of meat lobby group National Pork Board (NPB), recently sampled the vegan Beyond Sausage and Impossible Burger at a Whole Foods Market in Colorado. The meat exec revealed that, while the plant-based products had “a ways to go in terms of texture,” he thought that both tasted very similar to their animal-based counterparts. “The flavor I’d say was close,” Sutton told meat industry publication Pork Business, noting that he believed that the sauces and condiments served with the plant-based options augmented their flavor. While the meat industry has long discredited vegan alternatives as “shamburgers” and “fake meat,” the popularity of products such as the Beyond Sausage and Impossible Burger have forced those who champion meat products to consider vegan companies as viable competitors. “This good food movement is not a trend, it’s the reality of what our new customer—mainly the millennial—is expecting of us,” Brett Kaysen, another executive at NPB, said. “There’s no doubt alternative proteins are going to play the sustainability card. It’s the cost of doing business today.”

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