When I first read that Tyson's CEO and Mcdonald's former CEO were investing in a plant-based protein startup, I thought for sure this was fake news. Then I did some digging which lead me to a happy dance! Maybe this world has hope after all :)
Tyson is one of the world's largest meat companies and has been the big kid on the block for more than 80 years! In the last decade, it's received some pretty bad media through documentaries that revealed inhumane farming techniques, and horrible animal treatment in order to increase profits. Today, however, CEO Tom Hayes recognizes that plant-based protein could well outpace animal-based products before long. The new-ish CEO had this to say,
"If you take a look at the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) stats, protein consumption is growing around the world—and it continues to grow. It’s not just hot in the U.S.; it’s hot everywhere, people want protein, so whether it’s animal-based protein or plant-based protein, they have an appetite for it. Plant-based protein is growing almost, at this point, a little faster than animal-based, so I think the migration may continue in that direction.”
The fact that he spoke those words alone is a huge deal, but couple it with his actions and we're talking a full-scale industry shift, or trend. Tyson has increased their investment in startup, Beyond Meat, to more than 5%. The exact details are not disclosed. Tyson's not alone in their investment, the company is rubbing shoulders with McDonald's former CEO, General Mills (one of the largest food companies in the world), Bill Gates, Leonardo DiCaprio, and even the Human Society. Those are some powerful influencers with deep pockets!
Beyond Meat has raised over $72,000,000 since it's inception in 2009 and plan to triple production and enter the restaurant scene with the additional revenue. TGI Fridays, Fatburger, and Veggi Grill have already jumped onboard with Beyond Meat featured burgers.
Why the shift?