Makers of plant-based meat alternatives are cutting prices, as startups compete with food-industry giants for slices of the rapidly growing market.
Impossible Foods Inc. said [March 3.] that it had reduced wholesale prices for its products by 15%. Big food companies—including Nestlé SA, Smithfield Foods Inc., Cargill Inc. and food distributor Sysco Corp. —have recently set plans to introduce their own meat-free patties, sometimes at lower prices than those charged by startups, like Impossible, that helped popularize plant-based products.
Impossible and rival Beyond Meat Inc. are jockeying with food-industry giants for a plant-based meat alternative market that is growing faster than sales of traditional meat. Plant-based meat sales in U.S. retail stores totaled a little over $1 billion for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 25, according to Nielsen, up 14% from the prior year.
Impossible and Beyond say they use less grain, water and energy to make burgers from soy and pea protein than companies that feed, slaughter and transport livestock.
But the plant-based production processes are more expensive than traditional burger making, partly because meat mimics are made on a scale far smaller than the global meat industry …. A lower price point will make their products more appealing to customers, plant-based food proponents say.