Alternatives to meat and animal based protein products have grown in popularity. Vegan and vegetarian dieters have found great alternatives to products that at one time were considered only possible with animal protein. Products such as burgers, hot dogs, cheeses and milks. These plant based alternatives came from smaller companies committed to making familiar products out of plant based proteins. Their veggie burgers and vegan cheeses made it into supermarkets and restaurants. They helped foster wider acceptance of vegan and vegetarian diets by providing these alternatives and it’s paid off. It’s paid off to the point that some of these companies are now being bought out by their meat and animal product competitors.
Here are some of the more popular plant based companies that have now been purchased by the big guys.
Sweet Earth Foods – The award-winning, vegan and vegetarian foods producer of plant-based protein products such as veggie burgers, burritos, sandwiches and plant based bacon, ham and sausage. This company is now owned by Nestle Foods.
Lightlife Foods – The company known for a wide variety of products and meat alternatives such as tempeh, and promotes ‘delicious, sustainable plant protein that makes going meatless easy.’ This company is now owned by Maple Leaf Foods.
Field Roast Grain Meat Co. – Known for it’s ‘vegan grain meat and Chao Creamery cheese.’ This company is now owned by Maple Leaf Foods.
Earth Balance – The company responsible for plant-based buttery spreads, shortenings, nut butters and other vegan products. “100% Plant-Made with integrity and organic ingredients.” Now part of a billion dollar food package company that also owns Hungry-Man microwave dinners, Pinnacle Foods.
Gardein – This company is a plant-based protein brand and also owned by Pinnacle Foods.
Beyond Meat – Perhaps one of the more innovative alternative plant based meat companies, offering burgers and other altmeat products that resemble actual meat. Giant factory farm company, Tyson owns a stake in the company.
The list goes on and on. Clearly these alternative meat and dairy companies are doing well or the food conglomerates wouldn’t be buying them up.
One could argue this is bad for the movement to stop animal cruelty and environmental devastation because these veggie companies are now profiting some of the worst players on the subject. Continued support of one of these purchased companies now supports the giant food conglomerates.
On the flip side, one could argue that the mainstream will now have more exposure to these plant based alternatives now that the have the support and reach of the big food corporations. If they have a vested interest and money at stake, surely these giant food companies will want their plant based investments to do well.
What do you think? Leave your comments below.