Plant-Based Shrimp Is A Thing, And Real-Meat Giant Tyson Foods Wants A Taste

from Fast Company

Plant-based meat is so last year: The latest animal protein to go green in a big way is shellfish.

Tyson Foods announced today that it’s investing in New Wave Foods, which expects to have a shrimp alternative ready for food-service operators by early next year. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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8 Responses to Plant-Based Shrimp Is A Thing, And Real-Meat Giant Tyson Foods Wants A Taste

  1. Sean Distelcamp September 6, 2019 at 4:56 pm #

    Something I find interesting whenever I hear about the newest vegan protein alternative is that it is almost always something that is trying to imitate a traditional protein. The shrimp the article is titled after, the impossible Whopper, plant-based chicken or plant-based meatballs are all vegan food innovations that are trying to mimic existing foods that we are all used to enjoying. This is most likely because it is much easier to market a new vegan food to people if it can be related to something they already know and love. The fact that Tyson is investing in these things means that there must be a market for it. This seems to be good news for the environment as well since there is evidence that the meat industry is a big contributor to climate change. By eating vegan alternatives, we can hope to reduce our carbon footprints.
    One idea that has come to me is that maybe the biggest innovations in environmentally friendly and healthy food will be the ones that do not try to imitate something else. Right now, food companies are trying to create healthier and environmentally friendly foods that look and taste like familiar foods as much as possible. If the food companies ditched this idea for vegan foods, they may be able to better push the boundaries on sustainable options for both the human body and the Earth. Of course, getting people to try this new hypothetical superfood would be very difficult, but if it caught on it could have a huge impact on our diets.

  2. Mikaela Battaglia September 6, 2019 at 5:20 pm #

    The new trend nowadays is to go “vegan”, which means to consume no meat or any animal by products in general. Many people around the world have begun to do this because they are either animal activists, or have learned of the terrible aspect the meat industry has to the environment.This, however, is detrimental to any of the big name companies that rely on selling mean products. Fast-food chains such as Burger King and While Castle rely on their burger, chicken and fish sales to continue to bolster their companies’ wealth and ability to stay active. By including vegan, or “plant-based” alternatives to their popular menu items, they are trying to reach the demand of people who are looking for those exact options for that inexpensive fast-food price. While it is great that these companies are including these alternatives for the vegans, it is really only done for the companies’ financial advantages. I wonder how long this trend will actually last for, because although it is a nice effort to try and help the environment, this is only a small stepping stone into trying to fix a world that we have already begun to destroy.

  3. Kathleen Watts September 6, 2019 at 7:52 pm #

    As conversations about global climate change move to the forefront, people are becoming more and more aware everyday of what they do that negatively affects the climate and what they can do to stop doing that. For example, metal straws and reusable water bottles have been circulating within pop culture, especially among the youth, for the past few years. Sometime last year, a video surfaced of a turtle with a plastic straw in its nose and since then, you can hear someone yell “Save the turtles!” just about anytime a plastic straw is used. In a similar sense, people are becoming more aware of the effects that the meat industry has had on our climate. This has brought a desire for meat replacements, like the one mentioned in this article. See, there’s a disconnect somewhere between what people want to consume in their daily lives and what they should be constantly doing in order to protect the environment that they seemingly so love. People, economically speaking, will only suffer so much of what they are used to before they look for the perfect replacement as a compromise. For this reason, reusable straws and water bottles are perfect because they are functionally the same and the user only has to clean what they otherwise would have thrown out. For many years meat replacements have existed, but most of them are from smaller companies and are just different enough from their muse that people don’t see it as a true replacement.Tyson, as well as the other companies mentioned, are taking complete advantage of this disconnect. There is a huge niche market just sitting there waiting for big companies to take it. If these companies, like Tyson, can grab onto the rope swing, they just might make it into the river of money. If this replacement is as good as is promised, it will be perfect for that average consumer who, like I said before, is only willing to give up so much. There is still one problem though: Tyson will still be selling their normal chicken products. The more of these plant-based shrimp that Tyson sell, the more money they can put into manufacturing that iceberg killing meat they sell. In fact, the production of these fake shrimp has the potential to become just as problematic as the real meat products they put out. You see, they’re not going to change their mode of production, they will continue to hurt the environment as they have been for years, but the vegetarian backlash will be quelled, at least for the time being. See, this is a blatant marketing scheme, not an attempt on Tyson’s side to help clean up the mess they’ve made. In this sense, they are a wolf in sheep’s clothing, assimilating amongst the vegetarians. Hopefully, people realize where they’re putting their money before they buy this seemingly perfect compromise

  4. Anthony Freda September 6, 2019 at 9:02 pm #

    Plant based diets are becoming more and more popular as time continues. New scientific discoveries are favoring plant based diets. People are switching their diets and companies are expanding to accompany these new trends. Popular fast food restaurants including Burger King, White Castle and KFC have all announced plant based or “fake” meat being sold. Tyson Foods announced they are investing in a company called New Wave Foods. They plan to have a shrimp alternate ready for food service by 2020. The shrimp contains seaweed and plant protein which have lower cholesterol. This new trend may be due to the large obesity rate in the United States and environmental impact meat has on the planet. I am personally not a fan of plant based diets. Both of my parents are medical professionals and they do not have an issue with meat based diets. Meat is a great source of protein, iron, and necessary bodily vitamins. Plant based diets are only going to expand in the future with popular companies and fast food chains expanded their food options.

  5. Anthony Vacchiano September 8, 2019 at 8:13 pm #

    After reading this article, “Plant-based shrimp is a thing, and real-meat giant Tyson Foods wants a taste” really just is another for the big food company to make more money. Companies like Burger King goes through different phases of there menus to keep up with there competition because if they did not they would be going out of business. I like how there companies are looking for a new and improved way of eating but people will not stop eating animal protein. People are concerned about how there animal proteins are treated and the environmental impact of meat but in all honestly it is not just the animals that are hurting the environment, people are the biggest impact on the environment. If people are concerned about animal welfare than we should get rid of factory farms and go back to buying local and buy from small family farms. The new plant-based foods is a good source of food to some due to health reason but human evolved eating animal proteins. All in all, I disagree with the plant based diet and it is just another way big food companies can branch out to profit from the newly found source of protein.

  6. Ryan Geschickter September 9, 2019 at 11:11 am #

    After overlooking this article, “Plant-Based Shrimp Is a Thing, and Real- Meat Giant Tyson Foods Wants a Taste” is a truly different take on a similar method that other big companies use. Overall, this is a definite use of how to make even more money on something that is trending in today’s world. There’s different companies like Costco and other big companies that try to buy out the lower in order to keep up with the ever growing competition to keep themselves relevant in modern day society. In my personal opinion, I support that smaller companies with big name products are getting the renegotiation they deserve by being bought out. However, I don’t really like how big companies take advantage and don’t let the smaller company grow into the environment that they are put into. On a positive note, I like how consumers are buying into plant based products to combat the looked down upon, animal proteins . I can see more up standers for the cause of preventing of buying animal protein getting more into plant based protein products. Overall, this is perfect for getting smaller brands into a larger spotlight and preventing one of the larger issues in society in protein based animal products.

  7. Nicole Shubaderov September 9, 2019 at 4:51 pm #

    With the rise of global climate change concerns as well as health concerns throughout the world, people have started turning to alternatives such as plant-based meats or in this case seaweed-based shrimp. In the article “Plant-Based Shrimp is a Thing, and Real-Meat Giant Tyson Foods wants a Taste,” the author, Zlati Meyer, writes that companies such as Tyson Foods, Burger King and White Castle are responding to the rise of interest for this vegan/vegetarian lifestyle and are investing in ways to provide these type of products to their customers. In my opinion, if it tastes good, why not give it a try. The main concern that I have with this, is whether or not these companies and corporations will keep the cost of these products at a low/decent price for the customers to buy at. From personal experience, I have had a lot of my friends turn from veganism/vegetarianism back to meat-eating because the cost of having to buy vegan/vegetarian products was not reasonable for their income. A clear example of this in the fast-food industry would be with Burger King. The impossible whooper costs a dollar more than the regular whopper, but many times people are not willing to spend an extra dollar on a vegan/vegetarian burger when they could buy the regular burger for cheaper. Although this lifestyle may be beneficial for one’s health, for the Earth, as well as for the animals that are not being eaten, if the products are too expensive or are unreasonably priced compared to their meat counterparts, majority of the people would not be willing to pay more for them.

    My next concern is with the quality of the food that would be provided to the customers. An example of this is Burger King. Burger King this year came out with the impossible whopper, which is supposedly a vegan patty that contains no meat whatsoever but tastes and smells just like actual meat. Many critics have attacked Burger King for its impossible burger since traces of meat could be found within the patty during the grilling process. This could potentially discourage its customers from buying the products as well as break the trust its customers give the company. Another issue with quality is the true level of the healthiness of the product. As stated in the article “Why Burger King’s New Impossible whopper Isn’t Totally Vegetarian” by Lyn Mettler, the impossible whopper has approximately the same calorie, fat and protein count as the regular whooper but the impossible whopper contains more sodium and carbs than the regular whopper does. It is these nutritional facts that cause me to be hesitant about such large corporations trying to invest in vegan/vegetarian products. In a way, it reminds me of regular coke and diet coke. Although diet coke may have 0 calories, it contains much more unhealthy additions to replace the calories to have its flavor be satisfactory. This is why I don’t generally trust such “health” foods or drinks because it may be presented as a healthier option when in reality it may do much more damage to the body than marketed to do so.

    Finally, my last concern is about larger corporations using this investment for alternative meats as a scheme to improve their public image. Just like what Kathleen Watts stated in the previous comments, companies such as Tyson Foods will not stop the production of their chicken products since it is the sole reason for their company. The sole reasons for investment in creating fake meat foods are to make a profit off those individuals who want to “help the Earth” or live a “healthier lifestyle” as well as pulling a stunt to get the public to perceive them as a company that is trying to better themselves as well as the environment. Tyson will still inhumanely kill its chickens and it will still cause environmental damages to the earth, even if they are now making alternative meat products. But who is to say that the process of creating these alternative meats isn’t causing pollution or other environmental damages? This is just a theory, but large corporations that try to invest in such products are truly a scam and I don’t believe in them one bit. There have been so many small companies making vegan/vegetarian foods for years but not many people are interested in trying them even if they are healthy and environmentally safe. But now that companies such as Burger King, White Castle, and Tyson Foods are trying to create these products, everyday individuals are willing to try it just because they find it “cool.” I know that it is a company’s main goal to create a profit but without removing the initial cause of such destruction to the planet and our bodies, creating more fake meats will not truly help out our society. It is for these concerns that I find the rise of fake meats and seafood pointless and in a way a scam to make more money and increase sales.

  8. Tyler Abline September 12, 2019 at 1:33 pm #

    I think it’s really smart for Tyson to get on board with the plant-based meat alternative movement. More and more people are starting to become vegan or vegetarian, so it makes perfect sense for Tyson to follow the lead of other companies like Burger King and White Castle by capitalizing on this industry. There is clearly a market for plant-based alternatives so it is a no brainier for food companies to start playing towards to market.
    I don’t have a problem with these companies adding new options, in fact I welcome it as it allows for more options and gives more people the luxury of being able to choose what is in their food. I think it’s very cool how companies are now able to mimic meat based products without actually using meat. If the industry continues to develop it is entirely possible that we will be able to remove some of the undesirable aspects of the industry and make it more environmentally friendly as well as potentially removing or at the very least lessening the need to kill animals for their meat. If it still tastes good it would make sense to start to phase out the need for real meat and instead the industry can start converting to plant based alternatives on a larger scale. I like Tyson’s products so I’m optimistic that they will be able to make a positive impact on the industry.

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