What’s the deal with “meatless meat”?

Sales of meatless and vegetarian products are soaring, although only 7% of U.S. consumers call themselves vegetarian.


Beyond Meat Vegan Italian Sausage Crumbles

Beyond Meat: you may have seen their booth at our Spring Food Show on May 5th, and expect to see more of them. Their vegan meat products were a runaway hit at our show because of their authentic meat flavor and texture. They’re gluten-free too! Upper Lakes Foods now carries four products from Beyond Meat:

  • 591464 – 2/5 lb. Vegan Italian Sausage Crumble
  • 591465 – 2/5 lb. Vegan Plain Beef Crumble
  • 591466 – 2/5 lb. Vegan Seasoned Chicken Strips
  • 591467 – 2/5 lb. Vegan Homestyle Chicken Tenders

When you have some on hand, it is easy to turn any item on your menu into a vegetarian dish, all without sacrificing protein and flavor. Advertise them as an option for substitution on your menu, or check out our recipes for Beyond Beef Bolognese and Beyond Chicken Sesame Salad.


See below excerpt from “Fake meat sales are growing, but is it really better for you?”

By , MAY 11, 2015

The hunger for fake meat — or meatless meat — is getting bigger. So much so that the latest sales numbers of plant-based meat alternatives reached $553 million in 2012, representing a growth spurt of 8 percent from 2010. “We are doubling the business annually,” said Ethan Brown, CEO of Beyond Meat, which makes non-animal food products like the Beast Burger and has an active group of investors that includes Bill Gates and former Twitter execs Biz Stone and Evan Williams.

“We’re growing like a weed and expect to keep growing,” said Martha Pincoffs, founder of Minnesota-based Hot Dang Grain Burgers that makes meatless items, such as the “Big Tex,” a grain burger ready made for the barbecue. Her products are sold in many Whole Food stores across the country.


Beyond Meat Vegan Seasoned Chicken Strips

Why the increase in meatless meat? Those in the know say better health habits among consumers, along with tastier products, are providing a healthy financial benefit for businesses and investors. Also, there is a growing sense that the meatless meat industry is more environmentally friendly.

While only about 7% of U.S. consumers call themselves vegetarian, more people are changing their eating habits along with their environmental consciousness, said Rachel Greenberger, director of Food Sol, an entrepreneurial food program at Babson College. (Vegans avoid all animal products like milk.)

“Awareness of the plight of farm animals in our food system is sharply rising,” Greenberger argued. “And people realize that our planet and our bodies cannot support an industry that breeds and slaughters nine billion animals for food every year.”

The United Nations and the latest proposed USDA guidelines indicate that a switch to non-animal based proteins is necessary for survival of the planet, contended Dr. Joel Kahn, a cardiologist and vegan café owner. “For those reasons, fake meat is a growing market,” Kahn said.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, total cattle and beef consumption in the U.S. was 25.5 billion pounds in 2013, which translated into some $88 billion in retail value. Overall red meat consumption in the country has been declining over the last ten years while chicken consumption has slowly risen. In a survey of 2,000 U.S. adults, 36 percent of those polled said they ate less beef in 2013 than in 2012.

Meanwhile, the vegetarian market is a $2.8 billion-a-year industry, and a growing number of Americans–around 22.3 million–say they are inclined to follow a vegetarian diet with events like meatless Mondays. Sweet Earth Natural Foods’ Kelly Swette said the company should be profitable this year. Hot Dang Grain Burgers’ Pincoffs said business has been so good, she’s adding another full time position to her four-person staff.