Hormel Foods Corporations — one of the largest pork companies in the world — just launched a vegan meat range.
The new range, dubbed “Happy Little Plants,” was announced at Hormel’s annual Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference in Boston. Soy-based vegan ground beef with 20 grams of protein per serving is its flagship product.
“Hormel Foods has one of the most admired brand portfolios in the industry, led by our legacy of industry-leading innovation,” Jim Splinter, group vice president of corporate strategy at Hormel Foods, said in a press release. “We are continuing to build an organization that has the agility and adaptability to create products to align with today’s dynamic marketplace.”
Hormel describes Happy Little Plants as a “new plant-forward, protein portfolio.” The range marks the first project under its Cultivated Foods umbrella.
Happy Little Plants
Hormel launched a plant-based protein topping last June, ahead of Happy Little Plants’ larger retail debut.
James P. Snee, president and chief executive officer of Hormel Foods, spoke about how the company is looking to “innovate, not imitate” in the plant-based food space during the dbAccess Global Consumer Conference earlier this month.
When asked about other companies within the plant-based protein scene, Snee revealed that Burke, the brand’s foodservice division, would launch a vegan pizza topping. He teased Happy Little Plants’ launch at the time.
“So in addition to that, we also have some innovative retail initiatives that we’re working on, that we haven’t been very public about,” he said. “But it’s something that is certainly on our minds like everybody else, and there’s a lot of work happening both in the marketplace and behind the scenes.”
Hormel and the Vegan Protein Market
Earlier this year, John Ghingo, president of Hormel-owned meat brand Applegate Farms, spoke to the brand’s interest in the plant-based food market.
“We’re a brand that is always looking for better solutions and how do we continue to make progress,” he told Bloomberg, adding that the vegan meat market is a “really interesting space.”
He continued, “How do we, as a progressive meat and food company, think about moving forward?”
Happy Little Plants launched in select retail and foodservice outlets today. According to Hormel, numerous others have expressed interest in carrying the brand.