Blended, or “hybrid”, products have been driven beyond the roads and straight into supermarket aisles: hybrid meat is now a thing.
Hybrid products contain animal protein, but also a combination of grains and vegetables, with the intention that these added ingredients will enhance succulence while having the benefit of less fat, cholesterol, and calories.
Not only are these products supposed to be better for health, they’re better for the environment too: with less meat used, less water and energy is required to produce each meal. These are, then, more sustainable than plain meat. Hybrid sausage, burgers, meatballs, and even fish-sticks are now available.
So why are companies developing hybrid meat?
As is often the way with corporations, it seems that profit is at the heart of the development of hybrid meat.
While the cost of animal products are relatively cheap nowadays owing to ‘cost-containing’ factory farming, companies are adapting to the increasing demand for plant-based products.
This move away from ‘just meat’ allows companies to appeal to “millennial clientele and other health- and planet-conscious consumers by touting these products as more sustainable” which likely allows for better pricing power.
Not only are companies looking to invest in the ‘future of meat’ but blended products do not require specialist equipment, meaning that they can be added to a company’s supply chain easily and affordably.
Currently, company Meatless is the leader in this space, supplying major companies across the globe – even to the US, UK and Canada. Jos Hugense, founder of this company, believes that he has an ‘intimate knowledge‘ of “how to provide an easy fix to our current food system.”
While he does believe that plant-heavy diets are the ultimate best solution, he worries that it could take a long time before they’re adopted on a mass scale.
The reality is that while this might seem sensible, this is a short-term solution, and real change will only be attained by more people adopting a plant-based diet.
Image Credit: WBCSD