Meat Alternatives Booming

There are more package options to satisfy every palate.

By: Elisabeth Cuneo

Walk around the grocery store and you’re sure to see growth in one particular food segment, meat alternative products. There has been a lot of buzz surrounding meat alternatives as of late, especially with the brand, Beyond Meat, as Tyson Foods, the country’s largest meat processor, announced that it was investing in the company. The brand line-up includes high protein “burgers” that are sold in the meat aisle of the grocery store– yes refrigerated, not frozen.

Why the refrigerator over the freezer? Refrigerated foods have a perception of being fresher than frozen foods, and they can be easier to prepare than frozen varieties. They eliminate thaw times, and shorten cooking times, making it faster and perhaps easier to get the meal ready.

The Beyond Meat burgers look like real burgers and are packaged in a similar tray-style package with clear overwrap so consumers can see the “meat” inside. In response to this, Quorn, another popular plant-based protein product company, has launched its “meat” strips in tray-style packages in the refrigerator section joining the sausage links, tofu, deli slices and even plant-based cheese slices already there.

Ben Sussna, Head of Marketing at Quorn Foods USA, says, “[The] launch of the Quorn refrigerated line at Kroger marks an exciting new chapter for Quorn Foods in the U.S. We are continuously looking for new and innovative ways to make reducing meat consumption tastier, healthier and more convenient for consumers. To that end, Quorn’s new refrigerated products provide consumers with endless choice and versatility to prepare delicious and healthy meatless meals…”

Both brands also feature freezer products like Quorn’s alternative chicken strips and nuggets, packaged in boxes, and Beyond Meat’s chicken strips and meat crumbles sold in pouches in the freezer aisle. They join the wildly popular brand Morningstar, which recently underwent a branding change, and package change, from boxes to resealable stand-up pouches. This segment is getting a lot of attention from health-conscious consumers. Retailers and packagers are eager to develop and showcase these new meat-free products in easy to handle packages that make vegetarian meal time a cinch.

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