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No more meat aisles at grocery stores? Plant-based burger maker wants change

James Leggate

The founder of a company that makes plant-based meat replacements wants grocery stores to rename their meat aisles as “protein” aisles.

The Meatless Farm Co., a U.K.-based company that makes meat-free burgers and ground beef substitutes, began selling its food in the U.S. at Whole Foods Market stores Monday.

Meatless Farm only began selling its faux meats last year, but they’re already distributed in several chains in the U.K., Europe, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.

Founder Morten Toft Bech told MarketWatch the company has been testing where to locate its product in stores in the U.K. grocery chain Sainsbury’s. He said Meatless Farm is moving toward putting its products in the same aisle as meat.

“The vision is that you walk into a supermarket and it’s no longer called the meat aisle but it’s called the protein aisle — where there is a whole bunch of protein, some of which is from animals and hopefully a lot which is not,” he told MarketWatch.

At Whole Foods, Meatless Farm burgers sell at $5.99 for a two-pack and its 14-ounce meat-free ground packs sell for $7.99. The company claims its plant-based products are “almost indistinguishable from meat in terms of taste and texture” and have fewer calories, fat and saturated fat than beef.

“Whole Foods Market is an ideal partner for us as they also cater to a discerning audience of consumers who pay attention to what’s in their food — from meat-eaters looking to reduce their meat intake and parents looking for healthy meal options for their families to flexitarians, vegetarians, and vegans,” said Meatless Farm CEO Robert Woodall. “As plant-based alternatives become increasingly mainstream, we’re on a mission to educate the world-wide market on the benefits to them and the environment.”

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The company said it plans to open production and distribution facilities in the U.S. next year as it expands in North America.

Plant-based fake meats have become a hot product recently. Impossible Foods have begun selling its burgers at fast food chains like White Castle and Burger King. Beyond Meat has paired up with chains like Dunkin’ and Tim Hortons, and recently said it was planning substitutes for other popular meats like bacon and steak.

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