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Tyson Foods has decided to turn its back on its hybrid burger and is changing its vegetarian nuggets in its Raised & Rooted range sold in the U.S., which will reformulate the brand into a 100% plant-based line that is suitable for vegans. The big meat giant says that the move is in response to the growing demand for animal-free products.
It appears the meat giant’s foray into ‘blended’ products did not offer up the results the company was looking for. To make the brand completely free from animal products, Raised & Rooted will be ditching its “The Blend” burger product, which was a hybrid plant-based and animal meat patty, and will be removing egg whites in the recipe for its plant-based nuggets and tenders. The brand was first launched last year by U.S. big meat giant Tyson Foods as the company moved to capitalise on the growing plant-based and flexitarian trend, but has now stepped up its efforts amidst the recent boost the category has seen amidst the coronavirus.
The Raised & Rooted Blend will be discontinued as we constantly evaluate products working alongside our customers and consumers.Tyson Foods
“We are continually updating our products, and recently reformulated our plant-based nuggets and tenders with a recipe that improves the taste and texture of our products. This new recipe also removes egg white,” said a spokesperson for Tyson. “The Raised & Rooted Blend will be discontinued as we constantly evaluate products working alongside our customers and consumers.”
“We expect our new product to begin shipping to retailers in December,” added David Ervin, the company’s vice president of alternative protein, in an interview with FoodNavigator. “Moving forward, Raised & Rooted products will not contain any animal products.”
Before the update, Raised & Rooted’s line of plant-based products include battered nuggets, breaded nuggets, hot & spicy popcorn chicken, tortilla nachos, made from pea protein, golden flaxseed and egg whites – making it vegetarian-friendly. Its hybrid burger product contained pea protein and angus beef, which was marketed for flexitarian folk or those looking for a meat-reducing option. Since its inception, the range is sold across over 10,000 retailer stores in the U.S. and online.
Outside of the U.S. market, Raised & Rooted introduced its products to European consumers last month, launching via foodservice. Regarding its Europe-facing operations, Tyson says that the line is already completely animal-free, with the exception of its dairy-containing Garlic & Herb Dipping Fries.
Moving forward, Raised & Rooted products will not contain any animal products.David Ervin, VP of Alternative Protein, Tyson Foods
The news comes amidst the enormous surge in plant-based sales 2020 has seen, driven by consumers’ growing concerns over the vulnerabilities and dangers of the meat supply chain that has been ridden with slaughterhouse outbreaks over the course of the year. The U.S. has faced the worst outbreaks in its meat facilities, with hundreds of meat and food processing plants having to close their doors, pushing the industry to “breaking” point, warned Tyson Foods chairman John Tyson in late April.
Doubling down on plant-based options will no doubt help the big meat giant stay afloat and adapt to changing consumer tastes, which recent research has indicated appears to be shifting away from meat for the long-term. Data collected during the pandemic shows that a whopping 92% of consumers who purchased plant-based protein for the first time this year plan to continue doing so in the future, even when the health crisis is over.
Lead image courtesy of Tyson Foods.