In 2009, when Ethan Brown started his vegan meat alternative company, Beyond Meat, he had big dreams for it. It’s unlikely though that he — or anyone else — could predict just how successful it would become. As of 2019, Beyond Meat’s products are sold in Whole Foods and at TGI Fridays restaurants around the country. Additionally, when the company went public in May 2019, it had the best-performing opening day of any IPO in the last two decades. If there’s one lesson to be learned from the viral success of Beyond Meat, it’s that plant-based everything is in.
In June 2018, the Plant-Based Foods Association, a trade association that represents 114 of the nation’s leading plant-based food companies, released a report that revealed that the market had achieved 20 percent year-over-year sales growth and totaled sales topping $3.3 billion. Another report by Zion Market Research estimates that the global plant-based meat market will reach $21.23 billion by 2025, making it one of the fastest growing sectors in the food industry.
We rounded up four promising plant-based food companies to watch that are going beyond meat with their product offerings.
1. Ocean Hugger Foods
The world’s first plant-based alternative to raw tuna, Ocean Hugger Foods’ Ahimi is actually made out of tomatoes. Created by Certified Master Chef James Corwell, the tomatoes are treated with a special technique that leaves them with a savory, meaty taste and indistinguishable in texture and appearance from actual raw tuna. The Ahimi is also totally devoid of mercury, PCBs, and other toxic chemicals. Our oceans have become dramatically overfished in the last several decades, and in fact, 90 percent of all large, predatory fish (like tuna) are already gone. It’s facts like these that drove Chef Corwell to began creating responsible and delicious alternatives to some of the most highly sought-after seafood. Aside from their Ahimi, Ocean Hugger Foods plans to release additional products that would replace eel, salmon, and more in the near future.
2. Hodo Foods
The Hodo Foods team describes themselves as “delicious-obsessed food makers who handcraft plant-based foods for people who love to eat well.” And it’s true — their plant-based products are some of the best on the market. Their yuba noodles come in a variety of ready-to-eat flavors and are handcrafted with traditional methods. Their tofu, which also comes in various forms and flavors, contains 50 percent more protein than other similar offerings. Their soymilk is as simple as it gets, made only of soybeans and water. Consumers can rest assured that no matter which Hodo Food products they try, they’ll be getting fresh, deliciously flavored foods that will do a body good. Sold in both Whole Foods and Targets nationwide, these plant-based alternatives are readily available and easy to find.
3. Good Catch Foods
The team at Good Catch Foods are “culinary rebels with a cause.” Striving to help protect the ocean’s natural resources, they’ve created plant-based “fish” complete with Omega-3s and the clean taste of the sea. Composed of a proprietary blend of legumes and farmed alga oil, the New England style crab cakes, “white fish” sliders, and fish-free tunas are both nutritionally dense and filling. Brothers Chad and Derek Sarno founded the brand in 2016, hoping to share the value of eating well with others, whether they’re vegan, omnivore, or anything in between. Good Catch products can be found at Whole Foods and Thrive Market, and can also be ordered from Fresh Direct.
Entrepreneur and RightRice creator Keith Belling is no stranger to successful food ventures. As the founder and former CEO of popchips, Belling brings a wealth of experience to RightRice, a recently launched rice made from vegetables. “I always loved rice, but the empty calories, all the carbs, and that mystery packet of seasoning started to keep me from eating it as much as I wanted to,” Belling told ForceBrands. “When I realized I wasn’t the only one, I decided to do something about it. Just as my passion for snacking inspired me to create popchips, I thought I could come up with a way to create a more nutritious rice.” In June, RightRice launched in nearly 2,000 Kroger stores nationwide, broadening the brand’s audience and proving that the alternative rice category is just getting started.
Interested in working at an innovative food company? Explore our FoodForce division.
Photo Credits: Facebook