Big Meat Heats Up the Plant-Based Protein Market.

Their products, and this vegan’s feelings, are mixed.

Chana Davis, PhD
6 min readJun 29, 2019


Baby steps towards less meat.

The plant-based protein market is exploding and Big Meat wants in!

This week, in a sign of the times, two large meat industry players, Tyson Foods and Perdue Farms, announced that they will be selling protein-rich products with decidedly mixed origins.

Tyson Foods, the world’s second largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork, unveiled a line of plant-protein enhanced products: Raised & Rooted.

Simultaneously, poultry giant Perdue Farms, unveiled a line of plant-enhanced nuggets, created in partnership with The Better Meat Co. Founded by plant-based advocate Paul Shapiro, Better Meat supplies plant-based ingredients to businesses eager for a piece of the plant protein pie.

What is Big Meat offering?

Tyson will be offering mock chicken nuggets (pea protein base with egg whites) and a blended burger (part beef and part pea protein).

Perdue is offering “next generation” chicken nuggets, called Perdue® Chicken Plus™. These products use the same white chicken as their other nuggets but are enhanced with a blend of cauliflower, chickpeas and plant protein.

Who are they targeting and what are they promising?

Photo by Sander Dalhuisen on Unsplash

Tyson Foods is focusing on the health angle, and catering to this group of consumers:

“I hear that red meat is bad for me but can’t bring myself to break up with it, and nothing but the real thing will ever do.”

Their marketing highlights health benefits like more fiber and less saturated fat (notably versus “other plant burgers”). Ironically, their unsung environmental benefits (and animal welfare benefits) are likely to be far more substantial than their health benefits.



Chana Davis, PhD

Scientist (PhD Genetics @Stanford) * Mother * Passionate about science-based healthy choices * Lifelong learner * Founder: Fueled by Science

Recommended from Medium


See more recommendations