Perdue considering non-meat protein options

Perdue Farms is considering diversifying into the non-meat protein business.

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Perdue Farms Chairman Jim Perdue | Photo courtesy of Perdue Farms
Perdue Farms Chairman Jim Perdue | Photo courtesy of Perdue Farms

Perdue Farms is considering diversifying into the non-meat protein business.

Perdue, is presently the United States’ fourth largest broiler company and the seventh largest turkey company. It also has a presence in the pork industry through its Niman Ranch, Sioux-Preme and Coleman Natural brands.

But as the plant-based protein sector grows, Perdue is giving serious thought to entering that industry.

“Our vision is to be the most trusted name in premium protein,” Perdue Farms Chairman Jim Perdue told Bloomberg. "It doesn’t say premium meat protein, just premium protein. That’s where consumers are going.”

Perdue told the news organization that company is considering an “all of the above” strategy, looking smaller startup companies, pure vegan options and those that combine meat, plant-based proteins and vegetables, Perdue said. He added that it was unlikely for now that it would enter the cell-cultured meats industry, which is still in its infancy.

Other poultry companies in the plant protein sector

Should Perdue enter the plant-based protein market, it would join other diversified protein companies that already have a strong presence in the poultry industry.

Tyson Foods, the largest broiler company and sixth largest turkey company in the United States, in 2016 invested in a 5 percent stake in plant-based protein company Beyond Meat. In 2017, the company further invested in the company, but did not disclose any terms of that transaction.

Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods, over the past two years, has acquired two plant-based protein companies. In 2017, it acquired Lightlife Foods, and the following year it closed on the acquisition of Field Roast Grain Meat Co.

Hormel Foods, the parent company of Jennie-O Turkey Store and Applegate, has non-meat protein products in its portfolio through the nut butter and sports drinks channels, and Hormel CEO Jim Snee hinted in June while speaking at the dbAccess Global Consumer Conference that it might consider acquisitions that include other non-meat protein products.

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