Glance through the M&A page and it’s clear that the future of plant-based meat is both promising and growing. Driven by consumers who opt for Tofurky over a turkey or an Impossible Burger over a whopper, it’s no surprise that between 2016-2019 the sale of plant-based meats jumped 42% to a total of $888 million (as reported by ABC News).
According to the Health Focus Data, 17% of Americans eat a predominantly plant-based diet, and 60% intend on reducing their consumption of meat-based products. Their driving reasons include: desire for healthier/clean eating, avoiding toxic chemicals, more energy, improving digestion, preventing illness, heart health, stronger bones, live longer, improve skin health, sustainability, lifestyle, environment, ethical animal treatment, and peer/family group influence.
With a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 54% from 2013-2017 (according to Innova Market Insights), the plant-based meat industry is expected to continue in a healthy, upward trend. This growth is further supported by governments such as China who are in trade agreements with other nations to specifically to invest in plant-based companies.
Below are plant-based meat companies of various sizes and serving various markets. Do share with if you know of any more, and wish to see it on this list!
(image by Instagram.com/beyondmeat)
In 2009, Ethan Brown founded Beyond Meat in Los Angeles, California. Currently headquartered in El Segundo, California, Beyond Meat made their product available in the U.S. (via Whole Foods) in 2013, and later expanded to serve restaurants and supermarkets in Canada, Europe, and Israel.
Although they gained global media attention and consumer traction for their Beyond Burger patties, they also offer plant-based beef crumbles, chicken meat and pork sausage.
Catered towards non-plant based consumers, each patty contains 20g of protein, half the saturated fat of an 80/20 beef burger, no cholesterol, GMO, gluten and soy.
Their products will satisfy the taste buds of even the toughest of critics, all the while remaining cruelty-free. For more info, click here.
(image by Instagram.com/impossible_foods)
Impossible Foods was founded in 2011 by Stanford biochemistry professor Patrick Brown. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, they are best known for their Impossible Burger, a patty that constitutes of parts that makes up a ground beef burger patty - but only using plant-derived ingredients.
An example of this is the ingredient heme (the component that makes meat taste like meat). Instead of consuming it from cows, it’s instead extracted from soy plants. It may surprise most of us, but they're identical in nature (and thus taste)!
Their products are available in fast-food chains such as Burger King and White Castle in the United States, and in over 100 participating restaurants located in Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau. In 2019, they will be launching their patties for retail purchase. For more info, click here.
(image by Instagram.com/the_tofurky_company)
In 1980, 30-year-old Seth Tibbott founded Turtle Island Foods in Oregon which began producing tempeh for friends and family. The company wasn’t economically successful, until the Thanksgiving season of 1995, when they launched Tofurky and sold 500 holiday roasts. In 2006, they sold 201,108, and in 2018 they sold their 5,000,000th roast!
Over the years, the family-owned company expanded their product selection to deli slices, sausages, beef-style ground/crumble, and slow roasted chick’n, whilst still offering roasts and tempeh (now 2nd largest producer of tempeh in the U.S.).
They continue to create their products using non-GMO and organic sources, only use recycled paperboard packaging, and stock their products all across the U.S.. For more info, click here.
(image by Instagram.com/fieldroast)
Field Roast Grain Meat Co. was founded in 1996 by Chef David Lee. With a passion for farmed animals, he decided to create an artisanal sausage. Not one that imitated meat, but one that was less processed, handmade and stood to be delicious as its own product. His vision paid off as, for the past 20 years, millions have enjoyed their sausage all across the US.
Using culinary knowledge from Asia, and infusing it with European charcuterie tradition, Field Roast sausages was born. Their retail products have since expanded to burgers, deli slices, cheese, mini-corn dogs and frozen foods.
In 2017, Field Roast was acquired by Canada’s largest packaged meat company, Maple Leaf Foods for $120 million. However, they continue to be Seattle-based, manufacture vegan products and are positioned to release new products in the future. For more info, click here.
(image by Instagram.com/uptonsnaturals)
In 2006, Upton’s Natural was founded by Daniel Staackmann in Chicago. He began by making flavoured seitan (e.g. Italian, Chili Lime), and together with V.P. Nicole Sopko, has since launched other products such as ready-to-eat jackfruit, mac n’ cheese, spaghetti, bacon, burger patty, and curry and rice.
In 2013, Upton’s Natural moved into a new office, and opened Upton’s Breakroom, a place where they serve vegan meals to their community using their products which are also free of soy, oil, GMOs, and artificial flavours.
Till today, they remain as an independently owned natural foods company, and their products can be found in various online and offline stores around the world including New Zealand, Ireland, Chili, Germany, Norway, Mexico etc.
For more info, click here.
(image by Instagram.com/gardein)
Gardein was officially founded in 2003 by former chef Yves Potvin in British Columbia, Canada. As a classically-trained French chef, Yves wanted to offer customers healthy fast food made entirely out of plants, so that everyone can enjoy (cruelty-free) traditional favs (like crispy tenders).
A play on two words, ‘garden’ and ‘protein’, Gardein launched their frozen products in 2009. Today, they have 46 different products that are under 5 main categories: “beetles”, “chick’n”, “fishless”, “gluten-free” and “meatless meals”.
In 2014, Gardein was acquired by Pinnacle Foods for $154 million. All of their products are vegan, most are certified kosher, and they remain as such post-acquisition.
Their products are available in over 25,000 retailers, thousands of restaurants and hundreds of colleges. For more info, click here.
(image by Instagram.com/vbitesfoods)
In the early 90s, British Paralympic skier Heather Mills became vegan as an alternative therapy to traditional medicine. Through her own personal frustration to find vegan food products to cook with, in 2009 she acquired a small food company called Redwood Wholefood Company (founded in 1993), rebranded it to VBites and proceeded to expand the product range.
From plant-based cheese, to pâtés and steaks, Vbites offers a wide range of products under 6 sub brands. Over the course of 25 years, they also received accreditations such as kosher and halal certificates.
Today, Vbites offers over 100 vegan products in over 20 countries globally, such as Israel, Australia and Sweden. For more info, click here.
(image by Instagram.com/myplantdeli)
MY PLANT DELI
In 2017, My Plant Deli was founded by Honey and Naren in Shah Alam, Malaysia. As an American native born in Wisconsin (cheese center of the US), Honey has been creating plant-based cheese to satisfy her lactose-intolerant cravings.
Still operating out of their home in Shah Alam, they began selling cheese and has since expanded their product line to include cakes, ice-creams, sour creams, sausages, meats, pizza and many more.
With 17 different types of meats available, such as stuffed holiday roast and char siew (BBQ pork), My Plant Deli appeals to the diverse Malaysian demographic.
For more info, click here.
(image by bocaburger.com)
Boca Burger was founded in 1993 in Boca Raton, Florida by Max Shondor (real name, Richard Gross). 17 years worth of experience owning natural food restaurants, it was then that Max created a vegetarian burger in 1979 named the Sunburger that were only sold at his joints.
2 years of R&D later, and Max developed the Boca Burger. During the Clinton administration, Dr Dean Ornish (heart expert) was requested to review the White House menu and recommended that their burger patties be replaced with Boca Burgers. Since then, sales have steadily increased.
Today, Boca Burger is now a subsidiary of Kraft Foods after being acquired in 2000 for an undisclosed amount. They're available in the US, and via e-commerce sites. For more info, click here.
(image by Instagram.com/morningstarfarms)
Morningstar Farms was founded in 1974 in Michigan, USA. A year later, their soy-based meats were introduced into supermarkets and grocery stores nationwide. In 1999, Kellogs acquired ‘Morning Star Farm Foods’ (a brand under Worthington Foods) for $380 million.
Today, despite the increase in meatless companies in the market, Morningstar Farms products has successfully stood the test of time. They offer 49 retail products that includes meat patties, sausages, bacon, crumbles, buffalo wings and many more.
In 2019, the company made a statement that all of their retail and items that they sell into foodservice channels will be vegan. This is in response to the growing number of plant-based consumers who opt out of their products which uses egg. For more info, click here.
(image by Instagram.com/lightlifefoods)
Lightlife Foods was founded by Chia Collins and Michael Cohen in 1979 in Greenfield, MA. The company started making tempeh products out of an old, converted car wash, known then as “Tempeh Works”. In 1984, they officially changed their name to Lightlife Foods, and 9 years later launched their first plant-based sausage product.
In 2000, ConAgra Foods acquired Lightlife Foods to get a foot into the plant-based industry. 13 years later, Brynwood Partners (PE firm) acquired Lightlife foods from ConAgra Foods, who in turn sold it to Maple Leaf Foods 4 years later for $140 million.
This year, Lightlife celebrates their 40th year in the industry. With 18 different products ranging from tempeh, to patties and veggie lean beef, their products will serve to satisfy any type of customers. For more info, click here.
(image by Instagram.com/burgreens)
Burgreens was founded in 2013 by Max and Helga in Jakarta, Indonesia. Whilst studying in The Netherlands, Max worked in a raw vegan restaurant and together they were inspired make healthy, ethical, and sustainable lifestyle mainstream in their hometown.
Upon returning, they created Burgreens - the capital city’s first organic healthy plant-based joint. As pioneers in plant-based living, Helga and Max are regularly sought after as the voice of their large plant-based community. Fast-forward 5 years later, and Burgreens have 5 outlets with a frozen food business that offers products that are available on their menu.
Products which are available are: vegan sausage, patties, nuggets and rendang. All made with organic ingredients and under their strict no palm oil policy. For more info, click here.
With the vegan cheese global market estimated to be worth $3.906 billion by 2024 (growing at a CAGR of 7.6% from 2016 to 2024), click here to read more about the growth of the plant-based industry. Or more specifically, who are investing in them, and who are buying the companies out.