Walmart Beef Supplier is breaking new ground in the plant-based meat factory
Jensen Meat beef company enters the vegetable industry. The California-based meat company, which supplies beef to retailers like Walmart and Kroger, recently began construction on a facility aimed at increasing the production and distribution of plant-based products. The facility is scheduled to open in April 2021 and will include a variety of processes including cooking, hydrating, emulsifying and forming plant-based patties for distribution to the food service and retail sectors. Jensen Meat’s new division will also create jobs in the vegetable sector.
“With 60 years of experience, Jensen Meat has perfected the processing and packaging of high-quality ground beef. We now want to use our first-class knowledge to create a cost-effective process for the production of plant-based products ”, says Abel Olivera, CEO of Jensen Meat said. “We can manufacture, process and package herbal products in a cost-effective and innovative way. We want to help bright minds who share the same goal of producing healthy, affordable foods from alternative sources of protein that also help reduce world hunger. “
Invest in vegan meat
In May 2019, Jensen Meat owners Gregg and Jeff Hamann acquired the vegan brand Before the Butcher for an undisclosed amount. As part of the acquisition, Before the Butcher gained access to a $ 25 million line of credit as well as a 90,000 square foot manufacturing facility and cold store. By December 2019, Before the Butcher tripled retail sales of its Uncut branded burgers and sausages to hundreds of supermarket locations. In October 2020, the brand launched its mainstream plant-based patties for food service and retail providers at a price similar to that of ground beef.
Economies of scale
Production capacity and efficiency are some of the limiting factors in bringing vegetable meat on par with its animal counterpart. However, when meat companies start offering co-packing options, plant-based meat products will likely become more widely available at a lower price. And Jensen Meat isn’t the first beef producer to expand into plant-based processing. Following a “supply-demand imbalance,” Impossible Foods worked with the OSI Group, a McDonald’s meat supplier, for more than 60 years in 2019 to address the production challenges of putting Impossible Whopper on the menu at more than 7,000 Burger King locations to bring nationwide.
Photo credit: In front of the butcher