Vegans are no longer second-class citizens. Once viewed as dietary exremists, Americans have come to realize that there are vegans among us and, more often than not, they’re hoping to find breakfast options that are both delicious and sustainable. Major food producers have also taken note. Tyson Foods, the country’s largest meat processor, has announced that they’re investing in Beyond Meat, a company that produces plant-based meat alternatives. This is great news for vegan breakfast fanatics. Although there are plenty of fine breakfast foods that don’t include animal products, there’s no doubt that the complete American breakfast in it's current form is full of foods that are off-limits to vegans.
Investing in Beyond Meat, which bills itself as “the future of protein,” is a particularly smart decision for Tyson. Beyond Meat is the company behind the Beyond Burger, a plant-based meat patty that really "bleeds." Tyson’s 5 percent stake in Beyond Meat is expected to help the food startup expand its product portfolio and distribution, though the exact terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
It makes sense for major food companies to invest in vegan proteins. Veganism is officially a mainstream diet, and even a part-time diet for some. Eating vegan before 6 p.m. is a legitimate lifestyle choice, and opting to dine at a vegan restaurant is virtually the same as choosing to go out for Thai. Fortune notes that Tyson is just the latest food producer to bet on the continued popularity of vegan diets. Breakfast food giant General Mills also has a stake in Beyond Meat. Danone, maker of another breakfast staple vegans can’t normally eat, purchased WhiteWave Foods earlier this year, which produces Silk and So Delicious products, among others.
Tyson Foods currently offers a full line of meaty breakfast sausage links and patties, under both the Tyson and Jimmy Dean brands. Beyond Meat’s product portfolio, on the other hand, is disappointingly lacking in breakfast proteins. Let’s hope that their relationship with Tyson will turn out a vegan breakfast sausage that’s better than whatever this one was.