Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 67

the retailer's vice president for meat, deli and bakery.
Some of those new items include the Sweet Earth
Awesome Burger and Grounds, Sweet Earth Mindful Chik'n
and Sweet Earth Awesome Bacon Burger.
"We continue to monitor consumer demands and
how these new items resonate with our customers, as we
determine products to meet an increasing appetite for plantbased foods," Zgodzay said.
The marketing manager for Moss Landing, Calif.-based
Sweet Earth, Jesse Curtis, said the health is the main driver
of consumers' turn toward plant-based.
Citing Mintel statistics, Curtis said 83% of plant-based
foods' consumers are eating the products for health
reasons. "Other considerations include sustainability, ethics,
affordability, religion and sensory preferences."
In addition, Curtis pointed out that 41% of the general
population are "meat reducers" - people looking for more
regular, healthier options.
Social media and celebrity adoption have accelerated
awareness of the plant-based trend, Curtis said, citing
a recent MenuTrends study that gathered insights on
penetration of plant-based foods in restaurants and found
that there has been a 621% menu penetration growth in the
vegan category.
And that trend also extends to retail.
"Plant-based food sales have grown five times faster than
total food sales in the last year," Curtis pointed out.
Forty percent of people who eat plant-based meat
alternatives also eat meats and other animal proteins,
according to Supermarket Perimeter's research. Another
14% are vegetarians, 9% are vegans and 7% are pescatarians
(eat seafood but not other animal proteins).
People eat plant-based foods for a number of reasons,
but the overwhelming one is health. Seventy-two percent
chose health, followed by compassion for animals/animal
welfare and lower environmental impact in a tie for second
(both with 45%).
Other significant reasons for choosing plant-based
included weight management (38%), avoiding antibiotics and
additives (36%), cancer and other disease reduction (36%)
and to reduce cholesterol and fat intake (35%).
Eighty-one percent of US shoppers have purchased
plant-based meat alternatives, 68% milk alternatives and 64%
prepared meals containing plant-based alternatives.

sides, such as meatballs and tacos, making it easier for
anybody to eat less meat without compromising on flavor.
The Awesome Burger and Grounds are both Non-GMO
Project verified and made with pea protein.
The introduction of those products was followed by
the rollout of Sweet Earth Mindful Chik'n, which Curtis
said delivers the taste, texture and an "authentic chicken
experience" without hormones, antibiotics or fats. Mindful
Chik'n has 19 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.
Most recently, in July, Sweet Earth introduced its Sweet
Earth Awesome Bacon Burger, the first of its kind in retail
and completely unique to the plant-based burger category,
Curtis said. Made with textured pea protein, natural hickory
smoke flavor, fruit, and vegetable concentrate for color,
the burger combines Sweet Earth's Benevolent Bacon with
the Awesome Burger to create a savory plant-based burger
experience that contains 26 grams of protein.
"With the constant rise in plant-based foods, we are
seeing the evolution of the meat aisle into the protein aisle,"
Curtis said. "Most grocery carts today shop the perimeter.
We, and plant-based brands at large, will have much more
success if consumers can find our product next to what
they're looking to give up versus where yesterday's 'meat
alternatives' are shelved."
Just like the dairy case today has a significant footprint
with plant-based beverages, so, too, should the protein case,
Curtis added. "For Sweet Earth, we continue to innovate
in the plant-based meat category that spans from burgers,
chik'n, and beyond to sausages and deli meats debuting
down the line. We look forward to satisfying cravings of
vegetarians and flexitarians alike - consumers open to
finding a no-sacrifice way to clean up their diet."

TOP BRANDS
MorningStar, Boca Burger, Beyond Meat, Gardein and
Impossible are the top five plant-based meat alternative
brands, consumers say.
Two-thirds of those surveyed have purchased
MorningStar, 64% Boca Burger, 51% Beyond Meat, 43%
Gardein and 36% Impossible.

Gelson's, Sweet Earth

NEW PRODUCT DEMANDS
In Fall 2019, Sweet Earth introduced its Sweet Earth
Awesome Burger and Grounds. The Awesome Burger is
plant-based and satisfies cravings for the meaty, juicy taste
of a traditional burger, while providing plant-based nutrition
and goodness, Curtis said.
Awesome Grounds are perfect for recipes and give
consumers greater flexibility to cook traditional meals and
www.meatpoultry.com | 11.20 | MEAT+ POULTRY

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Meat+Poultry - November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - November 2020

Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 1
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 1
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 2
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Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 4
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Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - VDG1
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - VDG2
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