Watch out Impossible: Kellogg Co. is planning its own plant-based imitation meat.
Early next year, Kellogg’s Morningstar Farms will begin selling the “Incogmeato” burger: a plant-based, refrigerated patty made with non-GMO soy that is designed to mimic meat’s look and flavor. It will also start offering new versions of its vegetarian “Chik’n tenders” and “Chik’n nuggets” that the company bills as an improvement over its current chicken-substitute products.
Kellogg Chief Executive Officer Steve Cahillane said the burgers will “sear wonderfully” and “bleed on the grill” -- qualities that have helped vault patties from Impossible Foods Inc. and Beyond Meat Inc. into the consumer spotlight. The company plans to place its plant-based burger in the meat case in grocery stores alongside real meat.
Kellogg has for years offered frozen veggie burgers, but patties made with ingredients like black beans and mushrooms were never intended to taste like meat, and its more meat-like Grillers look outdated compared with the newcomers. It’s now playing catch up as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat latch on to “flexitarian” consumers that are reducing their beef consumption by eating meat-like replacements.
The demand for meat substitutes has boomed as consumers see the products as healthier and more environmentally friendly than beef, with Barclays predicting the global market will reach $140 billion globally in the next 10 years.
Kellogg is still the No. 1 seller of veggie burgers, according to data from Euromonitor, but its market share has slipped significantly, falling to 16.9% last year from 33.3% in 2013, even as its sales have rebounded in the last few years.