Over the past few years, plant-based meat and dairy substitutes have gone from a niche product to a major segment in the food industry. Now, these products are increasingly available just about everywhere you look in the food industry. Plant-based options are now available not just in your local grocery store but at your local pub and fast food joint. Plant-based products are now being offered by a wider range of brands from recently IPO’d startups to international giants. These products are also working their way into a wide range of subcategories in the food market, including infant nutrition and diet foods. In the wake of smash plant-based hits like Impossible Foods, companies like Else Nutrition Holdings Inc. and Forum Merger II are finding unserved niches in the market, while established food companies like Tyson Foods, ConAgra Brands, and Kellogg play catch-up.
Demand for plant-based foods extends far beyond just burgers. One of the companies that has moved to fill a previously unserved segment of the plant-based food market is Else Nutrition Holdings Inc., an Israel-based food and nutrition company focused on developing innovative, clean, and plant-based food and nutrition products for infants, toddlers, children, and adults. The company’s flagship product is a non-soy, non-dairy plant-based infant nutrition formula. Else Nutrition celebrated its US product launch in August with products now available in retail stores and online.
On September 24, Else Nutrition announced that the company had made its products available to US consumers on Amazon.com. The move makes Else’s products available to more consumers than ever via the world’s largest e-commerce platform. Direct-to-consumer online sales are a cornerstone of Else’s go-to-market strategy, particularly as the ongoing global pandemic has driven up demand for products available via delivery. Additionally, Else Nutrition is also pushing to expand its presence in grocery and health food stores. The company announced on August 20 that it had hired a specialized broker to help bring their products to one of the US’s largest retail chains.
On October 15, holding company Forum Merger II announced a partnership with plant-based food company Ittella International to form the Tattooed Chef brand. Tattooed Chef will focus on a wide range of meatless foods, some of which will include plant-based meat alternatives.
Tyson Foods, the largest meat company in the United States, announced in June that it would be moving into the plant-based meat alternative market. The company announced its new Raised & Rooted brand, which will sell plant-based and mixed meat/plant products. Tyson Foods, with its already massive consumer reach, says it expects plant-based foods to be a billion-dollar business for the company.
ConAgra Brands, the parent company for brands like Orville Redenbacher, Hunts, and Duncan Hines, has been selling meat-free products through its Gardein brand since 2009, but as plant-based meat substitutes have surged in the market, the company is updating its offerings. On September 23, ConAgra announced a line of Gardein soups featuring plant-based meat alternatives.
Kellogg got in on the plant-based trend with its Incogmeato line of products. The company is focusing on products aimed at families and young children. To that end, Kellogg announced on September 17, that the company would be partnering with Disney for its latest plant-based offering, Mickey Mouse-branded “Chick’n” Nuggets.
Plant-based alternatives to meat are the biggest trend in the food industry in years, and the marketplace is filling up fast. Companies like Else Nutrition are positioning themselves within specific, previously unserved segments of the food industry to ensure that they can become the main plant-based players in that space.