USA – Tyson Foods has unveiled its first plant-based and blended products and a new brand called Raised & Rooted®, marking an entry into the growing alternative protein segment.

Under the new brand, the company will launch plant-based nuggets as well as blended burgers made with a combination of beef and plants this year.

It has also launched Aidells Whole Blends™ sausage and meatballs, made with chicken and plant-based ingredients, with plans to unveil additional alternative protein products through multiple customers and sales channels.

Tyson Foods is banking on its deep experience in protein product development, manufacturing, distribution and marketing to drive growth in the new plant-based and blended proteins category.

“Today’s consumers are seeking more protein options so we’re creating new products for the growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein,” said Noel White, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. “For us, this is about ‘and’ – not ‘or.’

“We remain firmly committed to our growing traditional meat business and expect to be a market leader in alternative protein, which is experiencing double-digit growth and could someday be a billion-dollar business for our company.”

The Raised & Rooted® nuggets and the blended burgers, set to launch in late summer and the fall, respectively have been developed by Tyson Foods’ innovation, culinary and consumer insights teams in Chicago and Northwest Arkansas.

These products are made from a blend of pea protein isolate and other plant ingredients and contain five grams of fiber and omega-3s, and less saturated fat than traditional nuggets.

The blended burger is made with Angus beef and pea protein isolate and has fewer calories and less saturated fat than the plant-based burgers sold by several competing companies.

Aidells® Whole Blends™ products include a portfolio of fully cooked sausage links and meatballs made with a blend of high quality, no antibiotics and plant-based ingredients such as chickpeas, black beans, quinoa, lentils and barley.

After selling its 6.5% stake in Beyond Meat, Tyson Foods appointed Justin Whitmore to lead its alternative protein business.

“The creation of the Raised & Rooted brand is an excellent example of Tyson’s ability to think big and move fast, capitalizing on our existing infrastructure,” said Whitmore.

“We began development of our alternative protein products last year and have succeeded in creating a new brand and bringing those products to market in well under a year.

“Customers tell us they love the taste and nutritional attributes and are excited to partner with us.”

Through its venture arm Tyson Ventures, the company has also invested in mushroom-based protein producer MycoTechnology and cell-based meat producers Memphis Meats and Future Meat Technologies.