Plant Bites Animal

The Lempert Report
May 27, 2022

Phil: Good, good for those students at John Hopkins. We talk a lot about plant protein. We mention it with Kellogg's effort, but there's a new report that just came out. That shows the report is from I P E S and food and water watch. And what they're saying is meat companies, including JBS, Tyson, Cargill are investing heavily in plant-based proteins in lab grown meat, cellular agriculture. The market right now is 4.2 billion in sales. And they expect to be in 2025, not very long from now 28 billion, but there's some, you know, controversy about these big companies, these big meat companies, animal protein companies buying up these plant based. What's the downside for that? I would think that it's great. They've got money they're converting to it, but you know, people are saying not so fast. 

Sally: Yes. I think, you know, because, um, what we're hearing is that animal meat, conglomerates and other food giants can, are already controlling 80% of the meat alternative market. So they've bought up a lot of these smaller brands, which can, which consumers may not even know when they buy a brand in the store. And they think it's coming from a small company. They don't know that there's a big food giant behind it. And so that could be misleading, you know, consumers that are looking to buy from these smaller companies. 

Phil: Yeah. The good food Institute is published the fact that there's at least 1,300 startups that we're producing meat alternatives as of six months ago. We're gonna see more and more activity in this. And again, I think that, you know, when we look at the federal government, we keep on hearing about, you know, these four animal protein companies that control 80, 85% of the market, will this happen with plant based? And if in fact, we allow these companies to buy up these smaller companies, these plant-based companies it's quite possible that that happens. And the downside to it is that because of their volume and their power, they're really gonna be, they're really gonna be in the way of a lot of these smaller companies buying ingredients. Because if you have a choice you're gonna sell to Tyson, or you're gonna sell to, you know, Sally's plant based company, you know, who you gonna sell to just based on volume and so on. 

Phil: So it'll be interesting space first to watch. And again, in the fall, we've moved our protein and plant symposium to October, to the Fall. Stay tuned for that date. It'll be at the end of October, we'll be sending out an email on that shortly. This is one of those discussions that we've gotta have that we've gotta put, you know, balance in this.