Beyond Meat and PepsiCo are to market plant-based alternatives to beef jerky in the US.
A range of three flavours is the first set of products to emerge from a partnership announced last year between the meat-alternatives supplier and the food and beverage giant.
The jerky, sold under the Beyond Meat brand, is available at retailers including Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons and 7-Eleven.
As well as three flavours (original, teriyaki and hot and spicy) the jerky, made from peas and mung beans, is on offer in three sizes – a one-ounce pack, a three-ounce SKU and the largest, ten ounces.
The respective manufacturer’s suggested retail prices for the different sizes are US$2, $5.29 and $14.99.
With Beyond Meat’s own products, the company focuses on the refrigerated and frozen aisles. The jerky is its first shelf-stable offering.
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Dan Moisan, the CEO of the venture, which has been dubbed Planet Partnership, said the launch of the jerky “will make plant-based meat accessible to millions of households”.
Asked to point to the consumer and category data that informed the launch, the venture told Just Food: “Consumers are increasingly looking for sources of nutritious, sustainable protein, and this was the perfect opportunity to meet those needs in a plant-based snack that’s delicious and convenient.”
According to research by GlobalData, Just Food’s parent, published in November, the US meat snacks market was worth $3.41bn in 2020. The London-based data and analytics group forecasts the category could hit $4.67bn in 2025, which would represent a compound annual growth rate of 6.5%.
Sales of plant-based jerky options remain tiny by comparison. The Good Food Institute (GFI), an NGO advocating for alternative proteins, has published SPINS data that estimates plant-based jerky sales reached $3.9m in the year to the end of April 2019. Just Food has approached the GFI for more recent figures.
Proponents of plant-based meat argue alternative options to meat jerky can prosper, although there have been recent concerns about the growth rate of the overall plant-based meat market in the US.
Recent sales figures from Beyond Meat and Maple Leaf Foods have led some industry watchers to reassess how quickly the meat-substitutes market may grow in the country.