JBS: Plant-based, animal proteins can coexist

Adding plant-based protein brand Planterra to its product portfolio was a win for poultry, beef and pork processing company, JBS.

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(Planterra Foods).
(Planterra Foods).

Adding plant-based protein brand Planterra to its product portfolio was a win for poultry, beef and pork processing company, JBS.

“We have a very strong common denominator. We believe, both at Planterra and JBS, that consumers should have an exceptional variety when it comes to the protein at the table,” Darcey Macken, CEO of Planterra, explained during a Food Institute podcast.

Planterra functions as a start up within JBS, but the two companies are united for the same goal of feeding consumers through innovation, she added. This means that although Planterra functions as an autonomous standalone, the plant-based company gets the benefit of JBS’ knowledge of logistics and the supply chain. 

Taste and texture

Being backed by a meatpacker gives Planterra a leg up when it comes to improving the taste and texture of chicken alternatives. Most meat alternatives currently available on the market are designed to taste like beef or pork. This is because it is much more difficult to mimic the taste and texture of poultry. 

The True Bite Chicken Cutlets and Shreds serve as an excellent source of protein, with more fiber and less fat than traditional proteins, according to Planterra’s website. The plant-based chicken products are pre-seasoned in a choice of garlic & herb, sea salt & pepper, BBQ and rotisserie-style and cook in just 10 minutes.

“JBS wants to win and do the right thing for consumers and for their entire employee base,” Macken said. “It was really about ‘true competitors are coming into our space in meat – not just plant-based. If somebody’s going to win, it should be a JBS company.’”

According to the WATTPoultry.com Top Companies Database, JBS is the world’s largest protein supplier and the second largest food company. It also ranks first globally as a poultry producer, having slaughtered 4.4 billion broilers during the past year.

In 2021, JBS furthered their investment into the meat alternative market with the purchase of European plant-based protein company Vivera. Vivera offers products in more than 25 countries, with relevant market share in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany. Included in the acquisition were three production facilities and a research and development center, all located in the Netherlands.

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