Tyson Foods—the largest meat company in the world—plans to debut a line of meat alternatives by the end of the year. During a shareholder meeting last week, Tyson CEO Noel White spoke about the growth of the plant-based meat industry, predicting that demand for alternatives to chicken, beef, and cheese will continue to grow. “What I was signaling today is that it is coming,” White said about the company’s meat alternatives. “And we will do it in a significant way.” Noel described the forthcoming products—more information about which Tyson will announce in the coming weeks—as “great tasting protein alternatives that are more accessible for everyone.” White revealed that Tyson has been using its resources to develop in-house products that will capitalize on the plant-based boom. “We have teams of people committed to bringing these products to market quickly,” White said. “It’s an area that we are investing in sizably and we will be in market this calendar year—and maybe sooner than you think.” In September, Tom Mastrobuoni—Chief Financial Officer of Tyson Ventures, the meat company’s investment arm—appeared as a panelist during the Good Food Conference to discuss the reasoning behind the meat brand’s recent investments, which include vegan brand Beyond Meat, and cell-based startup Memphis Meats and Future Meat Technologies. “To thrive and adapt to consumer trends, new industries need competition and, well, a little controversy. But in the end, there’s common ground between us and those who don’t always support our business—the need to feed our growing world population more sustainably,” Mastrobuoni said, adding that “[Tyson is] willing to participate in [its] own disruption by investing in alternative proteins.”
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