The Biggest Meat Company in the World is Making Vegan Bacon
Missing bacon from the breakfast plate? The world’s largest beef company, JBS Foods, is launching plant-based bacon through its Colorado-based Planterra Foods brand. The reinvented, vegan bacon selection will roll out under the company’s Ozo brand. Soon, American customers will have access to juicy, crispy plant-based bacon with the True Bite Plant-Based Bacon, featuring Cracked Black Pepper, Spicy Jalapeno, and Applewood Smoke flavors.
The vegan bacon selection is now available through the Ozo website. The plant-based brand plans to begin rolling out the new vegan protein at Sprouts Farmers Markets initially before expanding its nationwide launch.
Ozo’s vegan bacon selection will showcase an innovative and simple recipe consisting of rice flour, wheat, pea protein, and non-GMO soy. The company will add a proprietary blend of oils to replicate the animal-based bacon’s fattiness. The seasoning mixture aims to highlight the bacon flavors that American consumers may miss with other vegan bacon.
“It is a type of extrusion with multiple different layers and fats so that brings those different textures as you cook it and it gives it that different type of meatiness when it’s cooking,” Planterra CEO Darcey Macken told VegNews. “We see this as the next generation [of plant-based meats]. It’s another layer.”
JBS Foods Goes Plant-Based for Sustainability
JBS’ recent foray into the plant-based category is the latest measure the company has taken to meet its sustainability goals. Despite the company’s 167 years of meat production, JBS is introducing plant-based meat production to its portfolio as plant-based demand increases. The vegan market is expected to grow 451 percent by 2030, according to Bloomberg Intelligence, and the major meat company intends to capitalize on this growth.
The Brazilian meat production company also enacted climate goals to reach net-zero emissions by 2040. By cutting down on its livestock production and promoting plant-based products, JBS will cut its carbon footprint to protect the environment. Through Planterra Foods and Ozo, JBS is developing new technologies to replicate the “foods that people know and love but made from plants,” according to Macken.
“We knew we had to jump right into the future and into innovation and double-down on how we get to the future faster,” Macken said. “So the last two years, we’ve been able to learn and hone it in.”
Ozo expanded its plant-based selection significantly last March, debuting vegan meatballs and sausages to add to its selection of plant-based burgers. The company released its first vegan chicken products (shreds and cutlets) last November under the True Bite line.
The Rise of Cultured Meat
The leading beef company recently bet big on the budding cultivated meat industry. Last November, JBS Foods invested $100 million into the cultured meat industry, signifying a major shift for the meat company. Investing in cultivated meat marks a monumental shift in the worldwide beef industry as cultured meat threatens the greater meat and dairy industries.
Other companies have started picking up the pace for cultured meat production as the US prepares for commercial approval. This week, GOOD Meat – the cultured meat brand from Eat Just – announced that it would build the world’s largest cultured meat facility in the United States by 2040. Pending regulatory approval, GOOD Meat intends to present a substantial challenge to major animal agriculture giants by providing a sustainable alternative to conventional meat products including chicken and beef.
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