The World’s Largest Meat Producer Now Makes Vegan Burgers

The World’s Largest Meat Producer Now Makes Vegan Burgers

Vegan burgers are so popular now, even the world’s biggest meat producer is getting involved.

According to the Good Food Institute (GFI), JBS is launching a plant-based burger in Brazil under its Seara brand this year.

Made with soy, wheat, garlic, onions, and beetroot, Seara’s new vegan burger — previewed at Sāo Paulo’s APAS Trade Show 2019 — will bypass meat entirely.

The move is an enormous pivot for the company; up until now, it has only produced processed pork, chicken, and beef products. Founded in 1953, it has 150 meat-processing plants around the world, including in the top four meat-producing countries: the U.S., Australia, Argentina, and Brazil.

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JBS isn’t alone; American meat giant Tyson Foods is also embracing consumer demand for more meatless food and will roll out a line of vegan products this summer.

“Consumers expect more from food companies today, and we’re up for the challenge,” said Tom Hayes, the president and CEO of Tyson Foods. He added that vegan meat is “an affordable sustainable technology to leverage to help feed the world on a sustainable basis.”

The company has been interested in the plant-based meat market for some time, investing in Beyond Meat — the creators of the vegan beef-like patty the Beyond Burger — in 2016 and 2017. When it started to create its own version, the food giant was reportedly asked to create an exit strategy.

Beyond Meat has shown the world how popular and profitable vegan meat is, not only through major partnerships with supermarkets and restaurant chains around the world, but also with its highly successful IPO.

Last month, the brand became the first vegan food company to IPO. It was initially priced at $25 per share but soared to $100 per share before the month was up. The IPO was the most successful the U.S. has seen in nearly two decades, and has given a huge boost to the vegan meat market. It’s now predicted that the industry as a whole could be worth $41 billion within the next ten years.

Bruce Friedrich, GFI’s executive director, told Fast Company, “all of this is indicative of a public that is very, very excited about seeing meat produced from plants.”