Meat . . . The Competition

Meat . . . The Competition

Up until recently, good old-fashioned red meat did not really have any competition. Consumers were eating over 13 billion burgers annually and they were not about to replace the red meat burger with veggie and black bean burgers.

Enter the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat.

First launched in 2016, the Impossible Burger was offered only in restaurants. It was so popular, restaurants were frequently unable to procure the patties.

In 2017, Impossible Burger built its first large scale manufacturing facility and launched into White Castle in April 2018.  In January 2019, version 2.0 of the bleeding burger, with less sodium and less fat, was released and in April of 2019, Burger King launched the Impossible Whopper. In September of 2019, Impossible Burger announced that its fresh burgers would be available in grocery store chains across the country. This was a direct play to gain some of  Beyond Meat’s market share who pretty much owned the retail grocery market.

In 2012, Beyond Meat took its products directly to the consumer, launching its first vegan meat product, frozen chicken strips, through grocery store chains like Whole Foods. Unfortunately, the frozen vegan chicken strips were not as popular as planned and were eventually pulled from store shelves.  In May 2016, the fresh Beyond Meat burger was introduced in Whole Foods. Since its introduction in 2016, the fresh Beyond Meat burger has been sold in grocery store chains across the country and, more recently, introduced into restaurants.

After going public in May 2019, Beyond Meat’s stock has increased 855% with 90% of Beyond Meat’s revenue generated from fresh products. The focus is on fresh meat alternatives like bacon, steak and sausage.

And the competition is growing quickly. Food manufacturers like Tyson Foods, Kellogg, Kroger, Nestle, Conagra/Gardein, and Hormel Foods are working hard to develop their own vegan meatless products. Fast food restaurants from Burger King, McDonalds, White Castle, and Kentucky Fried Chicken offer vegan meatless menu items!

So, what happened to drive these markets?

  1. Research shows that eating meat every day is not good for us.
  2. The new vegan meatless products have the mouth feel of meat, taste like meat, and even bleed like meat.
  3. Research shows that the meat industry has a huge impact on the environment.

Research shows that eating meat contributes to
heart disease, strokes, diabetes, obesity and cancer.

  • Eating meat significantly impacts your risk of getting cancer.
  • Red meat is high in saturated fat which increases the risk for heart disease, weight gain, diabetes, dementia, and cancer.
  • Meat is high in dietary cholesterol which clogs arteries.
  • Animals are injected with hormones and have their own sexual hormones which negatively interact with our natural hormones.
  • 70% of antibiotics used in the U.S. are injected into livestock. These antibiotics increase our risk of becoming antibiotic resistant.  
  • The WHO (World Health Organization) classifies red meat as a class 2 carcinogen (most likely linked to cancer) and processed meats like bacon and lunch meat as a class 1 carcinogen (causes cancer). Tobacco and asbestos are also class 1 carcinogens.

The vegan meatless alternatives offer meat eaters a choice! They can continue to enjoy the taste and mouthfeel of meat without the added risks of eating meat. And, opening one door to a healthier lifestyle has the potential to open many more.

The new vegan meatless products have the mouth feel of meat,
taste like meat, and even bleed like meat.

  • Manufacturers were focused on creating a product that had a “mouth feel” like meat, or in other words, it feels like you are chewing meat. 
  • They created a product that tastes like meat to most meat eaters.
  • The bleeding was a big part to eating a juicy hamburger.  Beets are used to create the look of a bleeding burger.

The meat industry has a large environmental impact.

Although the manufacturers do not believe that the environmental impact of meat plays a huge part in sales of vegan burgers, the Impossible Burger has 89% lower environmental impact than a beef burger.  

And, livestock production has a huge environmental impact on our water, rainforests, animal extinction, and health of the land.

  • The global average of water required to create one pound of beef is 1,799 gallons.
  • Untreated livestock waste is held in ponds where they leach into ground water or flow directly into watersheds, rivers, lakes and streams.
  • Our rainforests are being cleared at unprecedented rates for raising livestock and growing crops to feed livestock . . . 150 acres per minute or 78 million acres every year.
  • Many of these lands are stripped of all nutrients.

The vegan meatless products offer a great opportunity to provide an environmentally friendly alternative to meat.

  • The new products can be manufactured without cutting down trees and depleting nutrients from our land.
  • They do not add contaminants to our water resources.
  • The Impossible burger has 89% lower environmental impact than a beef burger.
    • 96% less land
    • Cuts water contamination by 92%

Because no animals are used in the non-meat products, the ethical questions revolving around the treatment of animals and slaughterhouse procedures are eliminated. 

The vegan meatless alternatives offer meat eaters a choice! They can continue to enjoy the taste and mouthfeel of meat without the added risks of eating meat. And, opening one door to a healthier lifestyle has the potential to open many more.

Feed the World

The vegan meats offer a great opportunity to feed the world with high protein products that are cruelty free, non-destructive, and better for your health.

    • High protein food that can be offered without destroying the planet.
    • Healthy protein vegan meats have less fat, lower sodium, and lower cholesterol.

Are they too good to be true?

Wow! These products sound almost too good to be true!  Are there any negative repercussions from eating them?

When we look at these products as a way to feed the world and provide healthy food to many areas where healthy options are minimal, these products present a great option. However, there is a lot of discussion on the fact that these vegan meats are not as healthy as one might believe. 

  • the products are processed. When we eat a WFPB diet, one of the items we try to avoid is processed foods.
  • processed foods contain more salt, fat, sugar and preservatives than whole foods and plants. 
  • not all brands are created equal. Read labels. Determine the volume of added ingredients and exactly what has been added. 
  • the vegan meat items are made in a laboratory. These products contain plants and may be plant-based, but they are not solely plants. Research has yet to determine the effects of some of the new enzymes and compounds of these manufactured products.
  • veggie burgers and burgers made from real plants may not bleed like meat . . . may not have the mouth feel of meat . . . may not taste like meat . . . but they can be made of 100% plants.

The new non-meat products can help people transition out of a red meat diet and may even help them become healthier. 

One step at a time. And one step through the right door can lead to other steps, connecting love and life to a meaningful, sustainable future.

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