Macy’s becomes biggest US retailer to end fur sales

Humane Society applauds move as department store joins companies, cities and states rejecting real fur clothing

Macy’s CEO said the company had been following consumer brand trends.
 Macy’s CEO said the company had been following consumer brand trends. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Macy’s has announced it will end the sale of fur across its stores, notching a major win for animal rights activists.

The US retailer joins a growing number of brands, cities and states turning away from the use of products made with animal fur. Prada, Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Burberry have already dropped real fur.

While Macy’s is not the first US department store to end fur sales – JCPenney and Sears have already done so – the move is significant because of the company’s enormous size and reach. With sales of more than $24bn in 2018, and hundreds of stores in nearly every state, the decision will make the company the largest US retailer so far to adopt a ban.

Plans are to phase out real fur by the end of 2020’s fiscal year at Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and its discount outlets.

Earlier this month, in a pair of bills signed by the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, California became the first US state to ban the sale and manufacture of new fur products and the third to bar most animals from use in circus performances. Los Angeles and San Francisco had banned fur sales even before Newsom signed the bills.

Macy’s chairman and chief executive officer, Jeff Gennette, said in a statement that over the past two years the company has been following consumer brand trends, listening to customers and non-governmental groups such as the Humane Society of the United States.

“We are proud to partner with the Humane Society of the United States in our commitment to ending the sale of fur. We remain committed to providing great fashion and value to our customers, and we will continue to offer high-quality and fashionable faux fur alternatives,” Gennette said.

Kitty Block, the president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, applauded Macy’s decision.

“This announcement is consistent with the views of countless consumers in the marketplace, and other retailers should follow. With so many designers, major cities and now a state taking a stand against the sale of fur, we’re that much closer to ending this unnecessary and inhumane practice,” Block said in a statement.

Animal rights advocates argue that animals whose fur is taken for products are subject to cruel treatment and inhumane actions, such as gassing and electrocution. One advocacy group, Direct Action Everywhere, is working with activists to pass similar bills in cities nationwide, including Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Portland, Oregon.

But opponents in the fur industry say the bans could create a black market for animal fur and lead to arbitrary bans on other products. Keith Kaplan of the Fur Information Council previously said the ban was part of a “radical vegan agenda using fur as the first step to other bans on what we wear and eat”.

PJ Smith, the director of fashion policy at the Humane Society, said he believed the shift in the fashion industry was being driven by a younger, more socially conscious generation of consumers.

“Across the board the industry has moved away from fur. I think the consumer is really speaking up on this and we’re at a time when retailers really want to align their policies to what customers want,” Smith said.

Macy’s has about 680 department stores in 43 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico under the names Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. It has about 190 specialty stores that include Bloomingdale’s the Outlet, Bluemercury and Macy’s Backstage.

‘Killing Animals For Food Is F*cking Up The Planet’ Says Bryan Adams

The rock icon took to Instagram to urge people to stop killing whales – and also shared his thoughts on animal agriculture
Bryan Adam often speaks about animal issues (Photo: Instagram/Bryan Adams)

Bryan Adam often speaks about animal issues (Photo: Instagram/Bryan Adams)

Vegan musician and photographer Bryan Adams says killing animals for food is ‘f*cking up the planet’.

The rock icon made the statement in a recent Instagram post.

He shared an image of himself wearing a T-shirt saying ‘please stop killing whales’, and accompanied it with a caption talking about what he described as the ‘magnificent giants’.

‘F*cking up the planet’

“Just the fact that this T-shirt has to get printed blows my mind. I remember the save the whales campaign from the 1970s,” Adams wrote.

“Even after years of people campaigning to stop whaling, there are still countries that persist like Japan, St Vincent/Bequia, the Faroe Islands and Norway that consider it acceptable to kill these magnificent giants.

“There’s no need for it, despite any cultural or aboriginal claims of sustainability. The future is recognizing that killing animals for food is fucking up the planet.”

Vegan advocate

Adams, a longtime vegan advocate, has previously spoken out about the benefits of a plant-based diet for human health, the environment, and for animals.

“Being sympathetic to animal rights is just something that came very naturally to me,” he once told vegan charity PETA. “Perhaps because I used to have dogs growing up, and you know they became part of the family. And it never occurred to me growing up. I never put the whole thing of animal cruelty and that together as a youngster.


Vegan Meat Is About to Be Way Cheaper Than Animal Meat

Liz Specht Ph.D. — a senior scientist at the Good Food Institute (GFI) — says vegan meat products are about to come down in price.

Vegan Meat Is About to Be Way Cheaper Than Animal Meat
Vegan meat products are set to come down in price | Lightlife Foods
Senior Editor, UK | Contactable via

The vegan meat market is booming. As consumer attitudes change, supermarkets, fast-food chains, pubs, restaurants, and even fish and chip shops are jumping on the vegan wagon. But there seems to be a catch that comes with eating vegan meat products — especially if you buy them straight from the store — in many instances, they’re more expensive.

It’s a fact that cannot (and should not) be ignored, but is it one that is going to change anytime soon? Many think it is. According to Liz Specht Ph.D., a senior scientist at the Good Food Institute (GFI), price parity with vegan meat and its animal-based counterpart is just around the corner.

“Industrial animal agriculture has been operating and optimizing at a global scale for decades,” she explained in a post on GFI’s website. “Yet it is still inherently more efficient to make meat directly from plants rather than feeding our crops to animals and then eating a part of the animal.” She added, “It’s all but inevitable that the plant-based meat industry will eventually be cost-competitive with conventional meat.”

Why Is Vegan Meat Currently More Expensive?

GFI’s Liz Specht says Beyond Meat need to charge more so it can meet demand | Beyond Meat

According to Specht, vegan meat is currently more expensive for a number of reasons. It’s partly due to the fact that brands are operating in a “free market.” They must maximize their profit, and this means charging consumers more.

“Companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are currently producing as much as they can and are still unable to meet demand,” writes Specht. “There is no reason for them to charge less than consumers will pay at this time — moving down the supply/demand curve would not allow them to sell more products.”

She continues, “Lowering prices would just lower their revenue, which would, in turn, hurt their ability to scale and meet demand.”

Another reason is that while the vegan meat market is growing at a rapid rate, currently, it remains small. This means that brands have a harder time negotiating prices for their ingredients — such as soybeans or peas. The market is also currently at a place where it lacks the same infrastructure as animal agriculture. “The current scale of plant-based meat companies also limits their manufacturing facility design, equipment, and other technologies,” notes Specht.

“Even the largest plant-based meat production facilities look like boutique operations compared to the scale of manufacturing facilities for conventional meat products and other common food products,” she adds.

When vegan meat brands have a bigger share of the overall meat market, production methods will evolve, explains Specht, increasing efficiency and inevitably reducing cost.

One of the other factors to consider when looking at the price of vegan meat products is the cost of research and development. UK veggie and vegan meat brand Quorn, for example, recently invested £7 million into researching and developing its own “bleeding” plant-based burger.

As smaller brands find their feet and “secure their market position,” less money will be poured into this research and development, says Specht.

How Long Until Vegan Meat Falls In Price?

Impossible Foods partnered with Burger King earlier this year | Impossible Foods

Vegan meat could fall in price pretty soon.

The market is consistently growing. It’s currently worth around $1 billion, but this is expected to increase by 4,000 percent in the next decade, potentially reaching a worth of more than $40 billion.

The growth could be partly due to Beyond Meat’s recent IPO. The California-based brand — responsible for the “bleeding” Beyond Burger — went public in May. It was the first-ever company of its kind to do so. Initially, the IPO was priced at $25 a share, but this rose to $65 at the end of the first day. Stocks are now valued at around $99.

Primary competitor Impossible Foods has also seen huge success in recent months. It partnered with fast-food giant Burger King to launch the Impossible Whopper — a vegan meat version of the chain’s signature beef-filled Whopper sandwich. The vegan trial — conducted in 59 locations in Missouri — went “exceedingly well,” and the burger is now being rolled out across the U.S.

“[The] tipping point may hit relatively soon,” notes Specht. “Given the recent flurry of activity reflecting new production capacity among the existing plant-based meat companies and the involvement of new entrants with massive resources.”

The market is growing so quickly that existing major companies want in, like meat giant Tyson Foods and multinational corporation Nestlé. The latter has already rolled out the plant-based Incredible Burger across Europe, which features on McDonald’s menus in Germany and Israel. It also intends to roll out the similar Awesome Burger in the U.S. in the fall, under its Sweet Earth brand.

Tyson Foods — the world’s second largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork — announced earlier this year it will be joining the vegan meat market this summer.

Specht adds, “once plant-based achieves sufficient market penetration to tap into these emerging opportunities to optimize raw materials and make production more efficient, the industry will enter a bright new era of accessibility and affordability that will benefit both consumers and producers.”

Could Anything Stifle The Growth Of The Vegan Meat Market?

Upton’s Natural is suing Mississippi over the “meat label” ban | Upton’s Natural

Some have criticized the vegan meat market. In Mississipi, plant-based foods that emulate meat cannot be labeled as meat or a meat-based product on the packaging. So, brands cannot market soy or pea protein-based products, for example, as “meatless meatballs” or “vegetarian bacon.” The reason for the law is that some members of the meat industry believe that consumers will be misled by this use of terminology.

But many vegan organizations and brands — such as the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) and Upton’s Naturals, which are suing the state of Mississipi over the law — maintain that using this sort of language helps consumers understand what the product will taste like.

“People are not confused by terms like ‘veggie burger’ or ‘vegan hot dog,’” said Justin Pearson, a managing attorney at the Institute of Justice, in a statement. The institute is backing the PBFA and Upton’s Naturals lawsuit. He continued, “To the contrary, those terms tell consumers that they are buying exactly what they want: a plant-based alternative to animal meat.”

Daniel Staackmaan — the founder of Upton’s Naturals — added, “Mississippi’s law is not about clearing up consumer confusion, it’s about stifling competition and putting plant-based companies at a disadvantage in the marketplace.”

The Future Is Innovation

Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods were awarded “Champion of the Earth” by the United Nations | Beyond Meat

Despite challenges from the meat industry, it’s unlikely the vegan meat market will slow down anytime soon. The food industry is innovating, just like the tech industry has and continues to do, says GFI on its website.

“Unlike at any other moment in history, we now have the ability to blend imagination with design to improve the world around us,” notes the organization. “An array of inventions has improved lives for billions of people across the globe. Smartphones allow farmers and textile workers in the developing world to start small businesses and move out of desperate poverty.”

“Modern air travel and the internet have made travel and information more accessible than previous generations could have even imagined,”
 it continues. “Now, that same spirit of innovation is coming to our dinner plates. Just as modern automobiles replaced the horse and buggy, better alternatives will replace conventional animal agriculture.”

As it stands, animal agriculture brings with it a wealth of environmental problems. Last year, the United Nations labeled tackling meat consumption as one of the world’s biggest problems. It also jointly honored Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods with the Champion of the Earth award.

“Our use of animals as a food-production technology has brought us to the verge of catastrophe,” said the UN Environment in a press release at the time. “The destructive impact of animal agriculture on our environment far exceeds that of any other technology on Earth.”

“The global community can eliminate the need for animals in the food system by shifting the protein at the center of the plate to plant-based meat,” it continued. “For their pioneering work towards reducing our dependence on animal-based foods, Ethan Brown [CEO of Beyond Meat] and O’Reilly Brown [CEO of Impossible Foods] have been selected 2018 Champions of the Earth in the category or science and innovation.”

Researchers want the world to eat differently. Here’s what that diet might look like



The world of plant-based mock meat is quickly taking over the vegan market, but many health experts agree, faux-meats aren’t as healthy as they sound. Here’s how to survive on a vegan diet.

– A A +

The way most of humanity eats is bad for us and bad for the environment, a new report contends. And the authors are proposing a new diet that addresses both.

three-year research project published in the Lancet Wednesday outlines what a panel of nutrition, agriculture and environmental experts believe is the best way to eat for our own health and the planet’s — and it looks very different from what most people eat. Big changes are necessary, the report contends.

It recommends a plant-based diet, based on previously published studies that have linked red meat to increased risk of health problems. It also comes amid recent studies of how eating habits affect the environment. Producing red meat takes up land and feed to raise cattle, which also emit the greenhouse gas methane.

“The food we eat and how we produce it determines the health of people and the planet, and we are currently getting this seriously wrong,” said one of the report authors professor Tim Lang of the City University of London, U.K.

“We need a significant overhaul, changing the global food system on a scale not seen before in ways appropriate to each country’s circumstances.”

The diet that they propose focuses on eating lots of vegetables, getting most protein from plant-based sources like lentils and other pulses, eating more soy and nuts, and for Canadians anyway, much, much less red meat. Eggs should be limited to fewer than about four a week, the report says. Dairy foods should be about a serving a day, or less.

READ MORE: What an early draft tells us about Canada’s new food guide

“It is a substantial shift from what we are currently eating here in Canada,” said Jess Haines, an associate professor of applied nutrition at the University of Guelph.

However, she said it’s not that different from what’s in the current Canada Food Guide.

Some people recommend eating a “Meatless Monday,” she said. With the tiny amounts of red meat in this diet — maybe one burger or steak a week.

“It certainly wouldn’t just be a Meatless Monday. It might be Meat Monday,” quipped Haines.

The diet set out in the paper contains about 2500 calories a day, which registered dietitian and owner of Wellness Simplified, Amanda Li, said is likely more suitable for a man.

Here’s what a day eating the paper’s “healthy reference diet” might look like, with examples from a few different cuisines, as the dietary guidelines are meant to be applied around the world.


Oatmeal with peanut butter and a banana could be the basis of breakfast under the Lancet-recommended diet, thinks one dietitian.

Oatmeal with peanut butter and a banana could be the basis of breakfast under the Lancet-recommended diet, thinks one dietitian.

iStock / Getty Images Plus

A North American-style breakfast could be oatmeal, said Li, with two tablespoons of peanut butter and a whole banana mixed in. You could eat two small containers of flavoured fat-free Greek yogurt.

A Middle Eastern breakfast would start with a cup of coffee with milk and sugar, said registered dietitian Sarah Hamdan, who operates Nurtured Mama Nutrition in Ottawa. It could include a toasted sandwich made with a slice of pita bread, three pieces of halloumi cheese, some sliced tomatoes and parsley. It could finish with a clementine.

For a Chinese-style breakfast, you could drink a glass of sweetened soy milk and eat one serving of steamed rice noodles with soy sauce and sesame paste or peanut butter, Li suggested.


A fattoush salad would be a good addition to a healthy Middle Eastern lunch that fits these dietary guidelines, according to dietitian Sarah Hamdan.

A fattoush salad would be a good addition to a healthy Middle Eastern lunch that fits these dietary guidelines, according to dietitian Sarah Hamdan.

iStock / Getty Images Plus

For a North American lunch, Li suggests a salad bowl. Using romaine lettuce and field greens as a base, she’d add bell peppers, a cup of corn, roasted sweet potatoes, two and a half ounces of chicken breast, some feta cheese and pecans and a slice of bacon — with a dressing that includes oil.

This would make a “hefty” salad that could be recreated at a salad bar if you prefer to eat outside of the home.

READ MORE: With mock meat on the rise, here’s how to survive on a vegan diet

A Chinese lunch could be a bowl of congee — a rice porridge — with fish, green onions and ginger as a garnish. You could dip a piece of fried dough into the congee, and wash it down with Hong Kong Style milk tea, she said.

A Middle Eastern lunch that fits the recommended diet might be three-quarters of a cup of mujadara — a dish that’s mostly lentils, with a tiny bit of rice and olive oil, Hamdan suggested. It would be served with fattoush salad and half a cup of plain yogurt.

According to research presented in the report, of major world regions, the Middle East and North Africa likely come the closest to eating the reference diet already, though people there would likely still have to make changes. “There is definitely less of a focus on meat in that part of the world, for sure,” Hamdan said.


Mapo tofu would be a healthy Chinese dinner option that would fit the dietary guidelines, said dietitian Amanda Li.

Mapo tofu would be a healthy Chinese dinner option that would fit the dietary guidelines, said dietitian Amanda Li.

iStock / Getty Images Plus

For dinner, Li thinks an Indian meal would be a good fit in this diet. She recommends cooking a cup of chickpeas in a garam masala spice with ginger, garlic and oil, for a chana masala-style dish. You could serve it on top of two cups of brown rice to get in your whole grains and have some steamed vegetables like broccoli on the side.

A Middle Eastern dinner could be based around mulukhiyah, a stew of a green vegetable called Arab’s mallow in English, along with some chicken and spices, served with rice, Hamdan suggested.

A Chinese dinner, Li said, could be mapo tofu — a spicy dish made with lots of tofu and a little bit of minced pork — cooked with peanut oil. It would be served with rice, three cups of steamed Chinese greens like gai lan or bok choy, and a bowl of pork bone soup, which she says actually contains very little meat, as it’s mostly flavoured by the bones.

For dessert, she recommends a persimmon fruit and a small bowl of sweet walnut soup if you’re following a Chinese menu.

For North Americans, two Oreo cookies are a good choice, she thinks, as they don’t include eggs or dairy and will round out your added sugar allotment for the day.

Hamdan would also include snacks of an apple and some mixed nuts in her daily diet.

“I don’t think it’s hard for people to follow this way of eating,” Li said. “It’s very realistic in my opinion.”

She recommends increasing your intake of plant-based protein gradually, incorporating it bit by bit into your dishes. Adding tofu to your beef stir fry would be one example.

“If I was going to give a major recommendation to follow this diet from this journal article, it would be recommending just choosing one meal of the day to go completely plant-based.”

– With files from AP

Beyond Meat’s home in the meat aisle sparks food fight

NEW YORK (Reuters) – In a bid to directly compete with ground beef and pork sausage, Beyond Meat Inc bills itself the world’s first plant-based burger sold in the meat case of U.S. grocery stores.

Vegetarian sausages from Beyond Meat Inc, the vegan burger maker, are shown for sale at a market in Encinitas, California, U.S., June 5, 2019. REUTERS/

But interviews with nine U.S. grocery chains show that retailers are still figuring out Beyond Meat’s best fit in their shopping aisles – and it may be closer to the vegan section than the refrigerated meat department so desired by Beyond Meat.

The stakes are high in the battle over supermarket real estate, as upstart Beyond Meat seeks to quickly carve out its place in the meat section in the face of pushback from meat producers before more plant-based rivals from Impossible Foods and Nestle SA hit the market.

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc, which owns some 150 stores in 19 states, told Reuters it places Beyond Meat in a refrigerated section with other alternative proteins like tofu, and not the meat case, to avoid confusion among shoppers, its co-president, Kemper Isely, said.

At the 35 Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lover’s Markets across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the Washington D.C. area, Beyond Meat products are sold both in the dairy and meat section.

“Sales in both spaces have been great and customers generally view this as a new food category,” said Stephen Corradini, chief merchandising officer at KB US Holdings Inc, the investment firm owning the stores.

Other retail chains across the United States, including Town & Country Markets Inc in the Pacific Northwest, New York-based Morton Williams Supermarkets and Fresh Thyme Farmers Market in the Midwest, echoed Corradini, saying they see high demand among customers regardless of where Beyond Meat products are placed.

Beyond Meat and its new meatless burger rivals are counting on going head to head with meat inside stores. They avoid terms such as vegan or vegetarian, and request stores do not place their products in the supermarket vegan aisle where non-meat eaters traditionally buy tofu, tempeh and other plant-based alternatives.

Marketing its burger as one designed to look, cook and taste like traditional ground beef, Beyond Meat targets mainstream consumers who want to reduce their meat consumption amid growing concerns over health risks, animal welfare and environmental hazards of industrial animal farming.

“Find it in the meat aisle,” the company’s website says of its sausages and burger patties, which are made of yellow pea protein, coconut and canola oil.

Beyond Meat declined to comment ahead of its first earnings report scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

The company has warned in regulatory filings that changes to retail placement could hamper growth by failing to attract new customers and effectively compete with animal-based protein. Analysts consider Beyond Meat’s strategic placement a “strong advantage” over competitors and a differentiating factor in reaching the broadest possible U.S. market which they estimate to be $100 billion by 2035.

Investors are bullish on the business model, boosting Beyond Meat’s valuation to more than $6 billion from $1.5 billion when it went public on May 2, even though the California-based company said it may never turn a profit.

But while Beyond Meat requests stores sell its products next to real meat, there are no contractual obligations on product placement, according to interviews with nine retail chains. Some grocers, such as The Fresh Market Inc, which operates some 160 stores across 22 states, place Beyond Meat in the freezer with other veggie burgers or even the dairy section as they evaluate sales and decide on a long-term placement strategy.

“The freezer section is our initial go-to destination as our guests otherwise wouldn’t intuitively know where to find the product,” said Dwight Richmond, Fresh Market’s director of grocery.

Kroger Co, Target Corp, Inc’s Whole Foods, Walmart Inc, Ahold Delhaize, Shop Rite, Stater Brothers and Wegmans, which all sell Beyond Meat, did not respond or declined to comment on their placement strategy.

Sean Saenz, senior director of meat and seafood operations at Gelson’s, which owns 28 stores across Southern California, said the retailer did not see strong sales when it initially placed Beyond Meat in the freezer.

Since moving the burger out of the freezer, Beyond Meat sales are up 60 percent, Saenz said, while sales in the overall vegan section grew 20 percent.

“We’re still heavily weighted on probably 60 to 70 percent of the Beyond Meat being sold from the vegan location,” Saenz said, calling purchases out of the fresh meat case “more of an impulse buy.”

“I don’t think it will ever be as big as meat, but it’s definitely adding growing sales which is something every retailer is looking for,” he said.


The fresh meat case is one of the most restricted areas in a supermarket because space is limited and perishable items need to be chilled, according to Rick Stein, vice president of fresh foods at the Food Marketing Institute, the retail trade association.

He sees retailers carving out space for plant-based meat alternatives in the packaged meat section, next to bacon, sausages and ham, a placement aimed at adding sales.

The move has drawn the ire of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, which wants the meat case reserved exclusively for real meat and says the new products create confusion and erode the trust consumers place in the meat case.

“These plant-based companies are riding on the coattails of the beef industry, which has spent decades building up a healthy brand consumers trust,” said Lia Biondo, USCA’s director of policy and outreach.


The debate is about to get more noisy as Beyond Meat, which began selling its burger patties to retailers about three years ago, begins to face more plant-based competitors in stores.

“Competition over placement is clearly heating up as everyone vies for a spot in the meat case,” said Phil Lempert, an expert on retail food trends who advises companies on food branding and consumer behavior.

Canadian packaged meat producer Maple Leaf Foods Inc, which sells plant-based meat alternatives such as vegan ground beef under its LightLife brand, expects its products in the meat case of U.S. retailers by this summer.

Impossible Foods, which has so far focused on supplying restaurants, plans to sell its Impossible Burger in supermarkets’ meat cases by the end of the year.

Nestle, the world’s biggest packaged foods group, seeks to sell a pea-based veggie patty called Awesome Burger under its U.S. plant-based Sweet Earth brand. Kelly Swette, who founded Sweet Earth in 2012 together with her husband, told Reuters in an interview Wednesday that Awesome Burger will be available in supermarkets and restaurants in September or October.

Tyson Foods Inc, the largest U.S. meat processor, is also working on its own line of alternative protein products after it sold its stake in Beyond Meat in April.

John Beretta, group vice president for meat and seafood merchandising at Albertsons Companies Inc, which owns Safeway Inc, Lucky and Randalls stores, said the meat case will change based on consumer demand, with plant-based items potentially replacing some meat products.

“We’re at a point where plant-based meats have become a segment of their own, and by the end of the year we’ll have a section solely dedicated to these products inside the meat department,” said Beretta.

3 factors are driving the plant-based ‘meat’ revolution

 as analysts predict companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods could explode into a $140 billion industry

impossible whopper
Plant-based “meat” is going mainstream.
 Burger King
  • Plant-based “meat” sales are set to explode, with Barclays estimating that the market for alternative meat could grow by 1,000% over the next 10 years, reaching $140 billion.
  • Barclays says that climate change, animal welfare concerns, and greater interest in wellness are driving the meat-substitute revolution.
  • “Sustainability is increasingly more relevant as consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Z, have become more aware of the damage that food production has caused to the planet,” Barclays states in a recent report.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Plant-based “meat” is going mainstream, as grocery stores and fast-food chains jump on the alternative meat bandwagon.

The market for alternative meat could reach roughly $140 billion over the next 10 years, according to a report released this week from Barclays. Currently, the market for plant-based “meat” is just $14 billion.

Read more: Evidence is mounting that fast-food chains from Chick-fil-A to McDonald’s will be forced to add vegan menu items — or face the consequences

Barclays posits that alternative meat could take over 10% of the $1.4 trillion meat industry. This is a goal that has been central to the rise of plant-based “meat” makers Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat as the companies target meat eaters over vegetarians.

Here are the three factors that Barclays says are driving the meat-substitute revolution.

Climate change and environmental worries

climate change
A protester attends a demonstration under the banner “Protect the climate — stop coal.”
REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

“Sustainability is increasingly more relevant as consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Z, have become more aware of the damage that food production has caused to the planet,” Barclays states.

Plant-based products aren’t necessarily a perfect solution, with Barclays highlighting palm oil production’s links to deforestation. However, with climate change becoming “a more relevant topic,” Barclays says that companies have the “opportunity to highlight how their products address this concern.”

Animal welfare concerns

New Zealand cow farmRetuers/David Gray

With more than 95% of farm animals raised on factory farms, Barclays says that concerns regarding animal cruelty are making plant-based “meat” more popular. People are becoming more aware of farming industry practices and pressuring companies to change, as well as exploring plant-based options.

“In extreme cases, the birds may also face sleep deprivation as some factory farms keep lights on all day and night to encourage more eating rather than sleeping.”

However, most people aren’t giving up meat entirely in response to the mistreatment of animals. Barclays sees the biggest opportunity for growth coming from people who still eat meat, not vegetarians and vegans.

Health and wellness concerns

White Castle Impossible burger
Fast-food chains are adding plant-based burgers to the menu.
Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

People around the world are more health-conscious than ever before, with Barclays saying that wellness is now a lifestyle as opposed to a trend.

However, many people remain confused on how to actually become healthier. And, many meat alternatives have just as many calories as — and even more sodium than — traditional meat products.

“Besides people thinking that they are healthier than what they really are, they tend to address their issues with protein by focusing on taste and price, which could deter adoption of alternative meats if they don’t satisfy consumers on these counts,” the report reads.

SEE ALSO: Chick-fil-A is exploring vegan menu items as chains like Burger King and Chipotle double down on meat substitutes

Beyond Meat preps for IPO as rivals take bite out of food industry

Startup is the latest ‘unicorn’, with a valuation of about $1.2bn, to go public as its competitor launches the Impossible Whopper

In 2018, Beyond Meat brought in a net revenue of $88m, and lost $30m.
 In 2018, Beyond Meat brought in a net revenue of $88m, and lost $30m. Photograph: George Whale

Wall Street is going vegan. At some point in the next four weeks, Beyond Meat, a pioneering plant-based meat alternative startup, will debut on Wall Street at a valuation of about $1.2bn. And in the meantime its rivals are cutting deals with some of the biggest names in food.

Beyond Meat is the latest in a series of “unicorns” – private companies valued at over $1bn – to go public. And this one is edible.

The company, based in El Segundo, California, was founded 10 years ago by tech entrepreneur Ethan Brown. It found early backing from legendary Silicon Valley financiers Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers – and later from Bill Gates and Leonardo DiCaprio – before it brought its first product, a chicken-free “chicken”, to market in 2013.

Now the company is going public, at a pivotal moment for meat-like products created from plant-based protein, mainly yellow peas, which are being used to create a new wave of burgers (which actually “bleed” with beet juice), together with poultry and sausage substitutes that taste far closer to the real thing than their predecessors.

The benefits of eating less meat from both ethical, environmental and health standpoints, have never been greater. And the business community has spied the potential for big profits.

Even giant meat companies such as Tyson, the world’s second largest processor of chicken, beef and pork, are backing meat alternative startups. It is investing in cultured meat maker Future Meat Technologies, which grows meat from cells.

Memphis Meats, another company developing cultured meats, boasts the vast Cargill grain company among its investors, alongside Gates, again, and Sir Richard Branson.

Wall Street’s interest doesn’t stem from a new found love of veganism. US meat production totalled 52bn lb in 2017, poultry production totalled 48bn lb. Beef exports alone are worth over $7bn a year.

The goal of Beyond Meat’s Brown is to recreate meat with plant-based inputs. “We don’t want you to walk away from meat, we’re just taking animals out of the equation,” he said in an interview with CBS, citing figures that show 70 million Americans are reducing their intake of meat.

In a letter written by Brown included in Beyond Meat’s IPO prospectus, Brown insists: “We do not face a binary decision to eat or abandon meat.”

He describes livestock as “a bioreactor consuming vegetation and water and using their digestive and muscular system to organize these inputs into what has traditionally been called meat”. Beyond Meat, he says, does the same, without the animal.

So far, Beyond Meat is consuming cash. In 2018, it brought in a net revenue of $88m, and lost $30m. A year earlier, revenues were nearly $33m, and the company made a loss of $30m.

But that could change fast if alternative meat products can take just a small bite out of the $1.4tn global meat market, or mirror the success of non-dairy milk products – which in the US is now 13% of the size of the traditional dairy milk business.

As consumers increasingly turn to plant-based meat alternatives, the only limit for growth maybe the availability of plant-based protein to make products from.

Just five years since the launch of its debut product, Beyond Meat products are now available at 30,000 outlets in the US and overseas, from Whole Foods and TGIF in the US to Tesco and All Bar One in the UK.

According to Dan Altschuler Malek, a venture capital partner at New Crop Capital, an early investor in Beyond Meat, the meat, dairy, egg and seafood sectors are a trillion-dollar market ripe for large-scale disruption.

“We believe the global food system is broken and one of the contributors is animal agriculture which has caused significant damage to the environment,” said Malek. “At some point, the planet will hold 9 billion-plus people, and the reality is there are not enough resources to sustain current levels of protein consumption.”

Beyond Meat, Malek says, is the third generation of plant-based products. The first was for vegans who, for philosophical reasons, sacrificed pleasure for beliefs in refusing animal proteins. The second generation developed products with taste and flavor. In the third generation, companies like Beyond Meat looked to develop products that are good enough on their own to consume without any sense of loss or substitution.

“That’s a seamless transition for the consumer and that’s what the third generation of producers are doing. Manufacturing technology has played a large part. Now we have a convergence that fulfill the promise of great taste and texture for consumers.”

Ultimately, Malek believes, we may begin to detach from the need for plant-based protein to resemble meat products. But now it’s still early days and consumers still want something that they already know.

“You can’t make them jump across two axes, simultaneously, switching ingredients and switching flavor. Eventually we’ll get to a place where products don’t need to resemble chicken or beef or lamb. They will simply be delicious and plant-based.”

And moneyspinning.


‘Boycott Jimmy Johns’ Trends After CEO’s Hunting Obsession Exposed

by  | April 27, 2019

There should be no doubt in how fiendish an act hunting can be. Nonetheless, many people find their cup of tea in the ruthless “sport.” Just recently, CEO of Jimmy John’s, Jimmy John Liautaud’s hunting obsession was exposed on Twitter, and a new hashtag has been making its rounds on the internet reading, #BoycottJimmyJohns. Read on to know more about ‘Boycott Jimmy Johns’ hashtag that went viral on Twitter.

Boycott Jimmy Johns
Photo by Loïc Fürhoff on Unsplash

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‘Boycott Jimmy Johns’ Trends After CEO’s Hunting Obsession Exposed

The CEO of the gourmet sandwich chain, Jimmy John Liautaud, has a hunting obsession and the fact is quite well documented. Years back, a website allegedly revealed the CEO’s images with him posing with killed “trophy” animals like a leopard and an elephant.

More recently, Twitter user Yossarian317 posted a macabre image which features the sandwich chain’s CEO posing with two thumbs up, sitting on the corpse of a huge elephant he allegedly hunted and killed. The tweet garnered some 28k re-tweets and 22k likes.

Twitter user Yossarian317 tweeted the post with the caption:

“Owner of Jimmy Johns celebrating the killing of a beautiful animal. Remember next time you want a sub. Please retweet!”

Credit: @yossarian317/ Twitter
‘Boycott Jimmy Johns’ Trends After CEO’s Hunting Obsession Exposed

And within a blink of an eye, twitter outpoured their aghast and anger on the image with comments flooding in. A user wrote:

Credit: @tarastrong/ Twitter

“Despicable, unfathomable, disgusting. The owner of @jimmyjohns. Sorry about your tiny penis, Jim. I’m sure glad there’s lots and lots of other sandwich places.”

Credit: @RobWoodson26/ Twitter

Another user said: “Will never go to Jimmy Johns again!”

Credit: @LeilaniMunter/ Twitter
‘Boycott Jimmy Johns’ Trends After CEO’s Hunting Obsession Exposed

“Do we start a #BoycottJimmyJohns trend??,” added another user.

How Can Killing be Fun?

Hunting as a sport is unfortunately still enjoyed by many. Some hunting instances take place on private enclosed lands where enforcing the law can be difficult. Hunters reportedly pay to kill native and exotic species in what it is called a “canned hunt.” Do you find anything exciting or sporty in succumbing animals to death in enclosed lands where they can’t escape? I don’t.

Animal rights activist groups like PETA are encouraging people to boycott Jimmy Johns, like the trending hashtag, and are referring to sandwich shops like Subway, which does not support trophy hunting. What do you think? Going vegan is surely an all-in-one boycott to every single animal abuse happening on earth. Let me know your views in the comments.