• CEO of Meat Giant Cargill Speaks Out on the “Cannibalization” of Protein by Plant-Based



    David MacLennan, CEO of global agribusiness corporation Cargill Inc, has spoken at the National Grain and Feed Association, warning delegates that the rise of plant-based will continue to reduce consumer demand for animal meat and that plant-based will “cannibalize” US and global meat demand.

    “Our analysis is that in … three to four years plant-based will be perhaps 10% of the market. We’re a large beef producer and that is a big part of our portfolio. So there’s some cannibalization that will occur”

    Similarly, last year both Tyson and Cargill spoke publicly about the change in the protein industry following Covid, with Tyson taking out a full page ad in the NY Times stating that the “food supply chain is breaking,” and “as pork, beef and chicken plants are being forced to close, even for short periods of time, millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain”.

    Cargill Plant-Based
    ©Cargill

    Cargill, the largest privately held corporation in the United States in terms of revenue, is one of the biggest meat producers in the world and like its peers, it has been gradually preparing for the protein shift with plenty of investments in the plant-based protein sphere.

    After its joint venture with PURIS Foods to become the largest North American producer of pea protein, Cargill has also invested in Bflike, a Dutch startup producing ingredients that can be used to improve alt-meat products. Last year Cargill also launched its plant-based protein brand PlantEver in China, and secured a deal for plant-based chicken nuggets for KFC China through Yum China Holdings Inc. 

    plantever nugget
    Plant Ever Nugget ©Cargill

    “Our analysis is that in … three to four years plant-based will be perhaps 10% of the market. We’re a large beef producer and that is a big part of our portfolio. So there’s some cannibalization that will occur,” commented David MacLennan, as reported by Reuters

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