PepsiCo and Beyond Meat forge PLANeT Partnership to develop plant-based snacks

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

PLANeT Partnership is set to explore new ideas in the plant-based protein space. Pic: GettyImages/amenic 181/lepas 2004/Levent Konuk
PLANeT Partnership is set to explore new ideas in the plant-based protein space. Pic: GettyImages/amenic 181/lepas 2004/Levent Konuk

Related tags: Pepsico, Beyond meat, plant-based protein, Snacks, sustainable snacking, Health

The Lay’s and Doritos snacking giant is taking a concerted dive into the plant-based protein category by creating a joint venture with Beyond Meat to expand its portfolio of health-focused snacks and beverages.

The partnership will undoubtedly capitalise on the trajectory growth of the plant-based trend as consumers become more worried about their health, animal welfare and the environment.

The newly created entity – named PepsiCo and Beyond Meat forge PLANeT Partnership to develop plant-based snacks – has given the fast-growing Beyond Meat a major boost, sending shares of the faux-meat maker to an 18-month high.

The pioneer of the plant-based meat category was founded in 2009 and quickly gained popularity among health-conscious consumers looking to broaden or shift away from animal-based diets. Beyond Meat’s portfolio includes products like meatballs, burger patties and sausages made from blends of various plant proteins, including mung bean, pea and brown rice.

Unlock new product categories

Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat’s founder and CEO, said the venture aimed to “inspire positive choices for both people and planet”,​ adding PepsiCo is an ideal partner.

The partnership will give it access to PepsiCo’s global distribution, marketing resources and commercial muscle, allowing Beyond Meat to “unlock new product categories”​ and introduce new innovations to market more quickly.

A spokesperson even hinted the US JV may even include a future expansion into China and the United Kingdom.

“Plant-based proteins represent an exciting growth opportunity for us, a new frontier in our efforts to build a more sustainable food system and be a positive force for people and the planet, while meeting consumer demand for an expanded portfolio of more nutritious products,”​ added Ram Krishnan, PepsiCo global chief commercial officer.

The deal is the latest in a run of marketing successes for Beyond, which include a distribution deal with Walmart and partnerships with QSR outlets like Taco Bell, KFC and Starbucks. However, it reported a surprising dip in sales in the three months to October 2020 with sales in restaurants and supermarkets slowing after an initial revenue bump at the start of the pandemic.

Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

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