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Tyson's Alternative Meats Can Become `Billion-Dollar Brand'

Deena Shanker, Lydia Mulvany and Isis Almeida

(Bloomberg) -- While Tyson Foods Inc. is the biggest U.S. meat processor, its up-and-coming meatless protein product may steal the show.

The offering is set to debut this summer and could be a “billion-dollar brand,” Chief Executive Officer Noel White said at a conference in New York Wednesday. The company hasn’t said what form it will take, be it burger, sausage or meatball -- or all of the above.

Tyson sold its stake in Beyond Meat Inc. just before the latter’s stunning initial public offering earlier this month. Chief Financial Officer Stewart Glendinning touted Tyson’s resources, its transportation network, test kitchens, science labs and sales team. The company doesn’t even need to put new capital in to make a veggie burger that competes with the likes of Beyond Meat.

“The demand for protein is growing in the world, and certainly plant offers another opportunity for consumers to enjoy a protein-rich meal,” Glendinning said in an interview at the conference. “The kind of customers that will be the buyers of these products are already huge customers of the company, so we really believe we will be successful in the alternative protein space.”

Tyson has registered several trademarks recently that reference plant-based meat products including Raised & Rooted, Pact and Outsmart Compromise.

(Updates with CFO quote in fourth paragraph.)

--With assistance from Leslie Patton, Mario Parker and Millie Munshi.

To contact the reporters on this story: Deena Shanker in New York at dshanker@bloomberg.net;Lydia Mulvany in Chicago at lmulvany2@bloomberg.net;Isis Almeida in Chicago at ialmeida3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net, Millie Munshi

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