December 9, 2019
Unless you have managed to avoid grocery stores or TV commercials in their entirety this year, you have probably noticed the emergence of plant-based protein products, specifically the kind that mimic ground beef.
If you thought Burger King’s (Tii:QSR) Impossible Whopper was going to be another casualty in the long list of failed fast food product launches, you may want to think again. According to Mintel, plant-based meatless products are growing at a 6.4% CAGR, and are expected to be a $5.2 billion category by 2020.
Plant-based protein products do not specifically target vegetarian or vegan diets, instead they appeal to a much broader group who simply want to reduce or substitute their meat intake. This broader group, known as flexitarians, now comprise more than 120 million U.S. consumers.
The main ingredient of these plant-based products can vary across each brand with the most frequently used being wheat, pea or soy proteins. Leveraging these plant-based proteins, as compared to raising livestock, significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions, water demands and farm real estate.
Plant based burgers are good, really good! Creators have clearly gone above and beyond to focus on taste, texture, presentation, even sizzle. It would not be surprising for burger enthusiasts everywhere to swap angus for the occasional meatless burger on flavor alone.
If you are looking to add plant-based proteins to your investment portfolio, you have more than a few options.
Beyond Meats (Tii:BYND) is now publicly traded and viewed as the leading industry disruptor. Other household names include Tyson Foods (Tii:TSN), who has been marketing alternative chicken products, and breakfast giant Kellogg (Tii:K) who owns veggie burger maker MorningStar Farms.
On the ETF front, U.S. Vegan Climate ETF (VEGN) is one to consider. This ETF was provided by European-based Beyond Advisors IC, and was the first socially responsible ETF specializing in vegan investments. Please note, investors are not purchasing strictly food, beverage, apparel, household, and beauty product stocks in this ETF - 39% of the fund is invested in the tech sector.
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