The Five Toughest Competitors to Beat in the Plant-Based Meat Market

Innovation and expansion are the two key strategies adopted by leading players to grow and sustain in the plant-based meat market. Furthermore, plant-based meat analog producers are strengthening their sustainability goals by making stronger commitments to reduce their carbon footprints and promote more sustainable food alternatives. Here are some of the most dominant plant-based meat analog producers: 

Beyond Meat 

Beyond Meat, one of the fastest-growing food companies in the United States that offers plant-based meats, was founded in 2009. The company, headquartered in California, holds core plant-based platforms aligned with meat categories like beef, pork, and poultry. Its flagship product is the Beyond Meat Burger, which is the world’s first 100% plant-based burger, created to look, cook, and taste like traditional ground beef.  

Beyond Meat plant-based meats are enjoying growing demand in global markets, and the company is investing in new manufacturing facilities and expanding its distributor, retail, food service, and restaurants networks in the United States as well as internationally. Beyond Meat is growing substantially faster than the existing animal-based meat category and is striving to capture a higher share in it. 

Impossible Foods 

Impossible Foods Inc. is a California-based company founded in 2011 that makes meat, fish, and dairy products directly from plant sources; its flagship product is the Impossible Burger. The company currently sells its products to a variety of customers in retail and foodservice channels throughout the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Macau, and Singapore.   

Impossible Foods Inc. began with a mission to replace animals in the food system by 2035. The FDA approved its products as safe-to-eat compounds in 2018, creating a value and expansion opportunity for the brand. Impossible Foods is continuously expanding by forming partnerships with restaurants and working toward expanding its market in Asia. 

Tyson Foods 

Tyson Foods Inc., the largest meatpacker in the United States, is a multinational corporation founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas. It sells its plant-based protein products under the brand Raised & Rooted™ through various retail stores globally; the company markets its products as “alternative proteins” and not “meat.” 

Tyson Foods believes the alternative protein industry will be a billion-dollar business in the future. The company entered the plant-based meat space to move toward higher growth opportunities and address consumers’ needs for healthy and sustainable food options. Tyson Foods also invested in the cultured meat segment with Future Meat Technologies (an Israeli startup) and Memphis Meats (U.S.). 

Unilever-Vegetarian Butcher BV 

Unilever acquired Vegetarian Butcher BV as a plan to expand its plant-based offerings. Founded in the Netherlands, the Vegetarian Butcher’s product development is strongly influenced by foods such as chicken, steak, bacon, tuna, and shrimp. In 2019, the company partnered with Burger King to launch the Plant-Based WHOPPER® which is now available in more than 35 countries across four continents.  

The Vegetarian Butcher and Unilever will work to expand their sales outlets and enter emerging markets, increase production, and gain expertise in the technology segment. Unilever has also launched an ambitious set of “Future Foods” commitments, which aim to help people transition toward healthier diets and reduce the environmental impact of the global food chain. 


Quorn is a leading provider of meat-free frozen foods; it has been a subsidiary of Monde Nissin Corporation since November 2015 with headquarters in North Yorkshire, England.  

Quorn’s products are based on mycoprotein; the company is also leading the way in the innovation of nutritious fungi, which is a step ahead of mycoprotein. It has built up a range of more than 100 products, from mince and sausages to goat cheese and cranberry escalope in its vegan range. 

Quorn has a strong presence in European countries and is expanding its presence in the United States and emerging markets such as Asia. It also finds regions such as South Africa and South America to be attractive markets to venture in.  

Kline serves the entire value chain in the food and nutrition industry, from raw materials to end-use markets. For more insights and data, refer to our already-published report, Plant-Based Meat: Processing Alternatives and Ingredients Assessment, presenting a market overview, data on the science and technology behind plant-based meat analogs, producer profiles, and an ingredients assessment. Connect with us today to see how we can support your growth in this fast-moving segment.  

Written by Marcela Chifu, Marketing Manager of Kline’s Consumer Practice, and Leah Hindman, Marketing Coordinator of Kline’s Consumer Practice

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