Supermarket Perimeter - May 2020 - 48

Meat & Poultry: Plant-based

"More and more people are interested in introducing new protein
options onto their plates," he said. "For many people, we know it's all
about balance, so our consumers include both those who are devoted
vegans and people who are experimenting with a flexitarian diet."
Greenleaf Foods' brands Lightlife and Field Roast Grain Meat Co. are
experiencing tremendous growth on its base business, with innovation
items adding to category growth.
"Across our two brands' product lines, we have more than 40 retail
products across nine key categories and enjoy the No. 2 share in US
refrigerated retail," Curtin said. "Our portfolio of products includes plantbased burgers, sausages, bacon, hot dogs, deli slices, tempeh, chicken,
roasts, ground, appetizers and entrees."
The company recently introduced new products under both brands
to its retail and foodservice customers. For example, earlier this year,
it reinvigorated the plant-based breakfast space with a plant-based
sausage patty from Lightlife and a fully cooked breakfast sausage patty
seasoned with sage, black pepper and rosemary from Field Roast.

Blended on the rise
According to March 2019 data from Nielsen, 98% of alternative protein
buyers in America also purchase meat products, and 21% of US meat
buyers also purchase meat alternatives.
"Consumers desire a combination of animal- and plant-based
proteins, rather than one or the other exclusively," Gutschenritter said.
In fact, the industry has seen an increased interest in blended products
of meat and plant-based meats, with more consumers wanting to
decrease their meat intake, but not give it up completely.
"Psychologically, it may be easier to self-identify as a flexitarian
by eating both types of products, but when you are eating
blended products it feels like you are always eating meat," Le said.
Michael Forrest, chief executive officer at Thomas Foods
International, USA, a Swedesboro, NJ-based meat distributor, noted
the state of the industry has evolved with a lot of attention today being
placed on creating products that have a stronger health focus.

Marketing and merchandising tips
Many believe retailers can do a better job selling alternative meats
in stores by experimenting with product placement in the store.
Additionally, retailers can leverage trial driving activities and appropriate
schematic support.
"The section usually reserved for vegan meats in the grocery store is
often hidden in the center of the store and doesn't see a lot of traffic from
people who might convert as they simply aren't visiting that area of the
store," Le said. "I think placing the products near complimentary items
that you could make a meal with could lead to an increase in sales."
Another option is to place the plant-based meat products near
its meat counterparts, which could give people pause and make a
conscious decision about what type of meat (plant-based or not) to buy.
Gutschenritter noted Cargill looks to help its customers succeed
and is excited to help them grow with private label alternative protein

48 - MAY 2020

SP_May20.indb 48

APPLEGATE FARMS

Applegate's new Well
Carved line blends meat
with organic vegetables,
legumes and grains.

Thomas Foods USA has developed a Flexitarian Ground Beef product
that contains approximately 70% meat and 30% vegetables, including
carrots, broccoli and cabbage.
"The rise of the 100% plant-based products has contributed to the
need for more innovation within this category. However, consumers
who are not interested in eliminating meat see meat-blended products
as an ideal substitute," Forrest said. "Suppliers and retailers are working
together to introduce meat-blended products that would appeal to both
meat eaters and those that are reducing their daily meat consumption."
Koons noted consumers want options and variety and will continue
to look for something that fits their individual needs and taste
preferences. In the case of blended products, there are consumers that
simply want to decrease their meat consumption and enjoy the benefits
that plants can bring. 
Applegate Farms, a division of Hormel and manufacturers of allnatural and organic meat products, has introduced a new blended line
designed to satisfy consumers who are being mindful of their meat
intake and its nutritional, ethical and environmental impact. 
"We are seeing more and more meat alternative products in response
to consumers looking to reduce their meat consumption. However,
we are also seeing that a lot of these products are falling short when it
comes to taste or quality, leaving consumers unsatisfied," said Mayur
Aras, Applegate's innovation brand manager. "Some product downfalls
for consumers include: they don't taste very good, they are highly
processed, and it's hard to tell what they're made of."
Applegate did some consumer research to understand the current
relationship between consumers and meat and learned that those who
were reducing their meat intake were largely doing so for health or
environmental reasons. 
In April, Applegate launched a new line of chef-crafted blended
products designed to satisfy conscientious consumers called
Applegate Well Carved, which blends Applegate humanely raised
meat with whole organic vegetables, legumes and grains. It features
two blended burger varieties and two blended meatball varieties that
provide up to 1/3 cup of vegetables per serving.
"Blended products allow consumers to enjoy the meat they crave,
while also increasing their intake of vegetables that promote health and
a healthier planet," Aras said.

supermarketperimeter.com

5/5/2020 4:10:46 PM


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