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Kind bar founder on fake meat craze: Why change things to ‘frankenfood’?

Heidi Chung

Consumers should be focusing on increasing plant intake, but the current alternative protein craze is not necessarily the answer, according to KIND Snacks founder Daniel Lubetzky.

“I think the long-term trend is plant-based foods are good for the planet. They're good for our bodies,” Lubetzky said on Yahoo Finance’s On The Move. “But what I find interesting is that a lot people think that you need to take these amazing things like tree nuts and legumes and veggies and fruits and turn it into something like ‘frankenfood’ that you can't recognize.”

Products from Beyond Meat Inc, the vegan burger maker, are shown for sale at a market in Encinitas, California, U.S., June 5, 2019. REUTERS/

Lubetzky is referring to the recent frenzy surrounding alternative proteins produced by companies like Beyond Meat (BYND) and Impossible Foods. Both companies use vegetables such as peas and potatoes to create meat-like substances that contain zero real meat. Over the past year, mega-cap fast food restaurants have been partnering with companies like Beyond Meat at a rapid clip resulting in a surge in consumer interest.

But Lubetzky argued that masking the integrity of plants shouldn’t be the goal. “The bigger opportunity is real food that is what it is, and you don't need to hide it or try to make it look like meat. So I do think it's interesting for people that want to reduce their meat consumption to do that, but I think the bigger opportunity is being proud of showcasing the real food.”

His company, KIND Snacks, focuses on transparency when it comes to the products it creates and sells. KIND bars feature tree nuts as their base and then depending on the variety, also include fruit, chocolate and nut butters.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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