JBS, the world’s largest meat producer, has launched a vegan meat lab.
The Brazilian company is producing plant-based proteins at the Incredible Lab—which is managed by the JBS owned Seara Alimentos.
This collaborative food tech hub brings together consumer, science, technology, and gastronomy experts.
“The world is constantly changing,” Seara Alimentos President Joanita Karoleski told Food Navigator-Latam. “Today there is a new way for everything and with food it’s no different. The search for vegetable proteins is a reality and we want to be leaders in this segment.”
A key breakthrough has been the discovery of Biomolecule i. The Incredible Lab says this has helped create an “unprecedented taste and texture of meat” in its plant-based products. This creates a vegetarian protein that the company says is unlike anything else on the market.
“It provides increased salivation,” said Seara Alimentos Innovation Manager Renata do Nascimento. “Leaving the taste buds totally free for new flavors, making the perception and taste experience unmatched with even more unique and incredible juiciness.”
Seara Alimentos first launched its Incredible Burger in 2019. The company is now expanding its portfolio to include five new products, available in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. These include chicken and beef burgers, Oriental beef-flavored soy meat and a beef-flavored soy kibe.
The company has even partnered with Brazilian restaurants and retailers. These include Allianz Parque, Rodeo, Habib’s, Applebee’s, Ofner, Detroit Steakhouse, and Subway.
Brazil Embraces Vegan Food
While traditional Brazilian cuisine is meat-heavy, consumers are increasingly interested in plant-based foods.
“Nearly 30 percent of respondents reported that they are moving toward reducing their consumption of animal products or are already vegetarian. This indicates that the Brazilian plant-based market has a potential reach of 60 million interested eaters,” says the Good Food Institute, a nonprofit that works to accelerate alternatives to traditional animal products.
Last year, Marfrig Global Foods—the second-largest food processing company in Brazil after JBS—worked with Burger King to launch the vegan Rebel Whopper.
It is increasingly common for meat-focused companies such as JBS and Marfrig to invest in plant-based alternatives, and in the US 80 percent of the top meat producers are also making vegan food.