Kellogg’s is taking a bite out of the alternative meat market, competing with the likes of Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat.
The food giant debuted Incogmeato under its vegetarian product line, Morningstar Farms, last year with burgers and chicken made to mimic the flavor and texture of real meat. The company announced Wednesday meatless Italian sausage and bratwurst would join the product line a month after competitor Impossible Foods announced its imitation pork products.
“We think this category is in its infancy and there’s a tremendous opportunity to delight consumers with a portfolio of products that meet their flexitarian needs,” Sara Young, vice president, and general manager at Morningstar Farms, told FOX Business.
The Incogmeato burgers, bratwursts and sausages are made from non-GMO soy. To compare, Beyond Meat uses pea-protein isolate in its product line, and Impossible Foods uses a soy protein concentrate along with potato protein and a molecule called heme that allows fake meat to look and bleed like the real thing.
"It's a soy-based product with canola and palm oil, beet juice for coloring, salt and natural flavors," Young said.
The Incogmeato sausages and bratwursts will be sold alongside their real meat counterparts despite the previous backlash from cattle ranchers demanding plant-based producers stop labeling their products as meat at supermarkets.
The Incogmeato burger patty contains 20 grams of protein, on par with its meat-mimicking competitors. Morningstar Farms has long pioneered vegetarian meals and pledged to go entirely vegan by 2021. Its Incogmeato line, however, is its first attempt to go after the alternative-meat market specifically. Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat came to market targeting primarily meat-eaters who are looking for alternative proteins. The Incogmeato line is doing exactly that with marketing materials targeting meat lovers and flexitarians alike that advertise products as “masquerading as meat” and “tricks your taste buds with its meat-like experience.”
Retail sales of plant-based foods have grown more than 11 percent in the past year, bringing the total market value to over $4.5 billion, according to the Plant-Based Foods Association. The total U.S. retail food market has grown just 2 percent in dollar sales during the same period, suggesting that alternative meat has major staying power beyond a fleeting food trend.
Meat giants have also jumped on the trend. Tyson Foods and grocery store chain Kroger have also announced they would be rolling out plant-based meat products.