Smithfield Foods becomes the latest among an array of global meat producers entering the plant-based category with the launch of a range under its Pure Farmland brand.

The US business, owned by China’s WH Group, claims to be the world’s largest pork processor and a leader in packaged meat products in its home market. But the Virginia-based firm is now rolling out meat alternatives in the form of breakfast patties, ‘meatballs’, burgers and starters, catering to all meal occasions.

John Pauley, the company’s chief commercial officer, said: “We’re thrilled to announce the launch of this new product portfolio under our Pure Farmland brand. We’ve been exploring the alternative protein space, and have taken our time to get it right.

“With this launch, we are bringing together our expertise in creating market-leading food products, our organisational commitment to sustainability, and our deep understanding of ‘flexitarian’ consumers, to deliver a broad variety of flavourful plant-based protein choices that consumers want and can afford at a great value.”

Smithfield joins the likes of Tyson Foods, Conagra Brands, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods in joining the growing meat-less ranks in the US, along with a plethora of other global food firms, including Marfrig Global Foods and JBS in Brazil.

The line-up from Smithfield covers eight soy-based products made with natural ingredients and are dairy and gluten free. Pure Farmland plant-based protein products will be available in the fresh, refrigerated sections of grocery retailers nationwide in mid-September. 

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By GlobalData

See just-food’s round-up: Eyeing alternatives – meat companies with stakes in meat-free