Cargill expands into alternative proteins, keeps feed focus

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/ipopba
© GettyImages/ipopba

Related tags alternative protein novel protein feed demand

Cargill is exploring the alternative protein sector with plant-based product development while maintaining its historic interest in feed and livestock production, says segment president.

The Minnesota-based agri-giant announced Monday [February 24] that it was launching a selection of plant-based protein products including ground and patty-shaped versions. The new products are intended to continue the work that Cargill has been doing regarding developing protein options.

The alternative protein products are set to be available globally as a “private label opportunity”​ for retail stores, academic institutions, restaurants and cafeterias, the company said.

David Webster, president of Cargill animal health and nutrition, told us:

“We have a strong history of providing high-quality protein products to our customers, so this is a logical next step to expand our ability to meet consumer needs and bring new value to this category,”​ he said about the upcoming plant-based offerings.

However, he was resolute about Cargill’s continuing focus on livestock and poultry farming.  

Cargill has spent about $7bn on its animal protein and animal nutrition businesses, globally, in the last five years, said Webster. The company is planning to continue investing in those businesses while expanding into the alternative protein space.

“Animal protein production is core to our business and our success in Cargill. We have an inclusive approach to the future of protein.”

Products like meat, eggs, fish and milk are central in many diets, he said. 

“We see demand for protein rising around the world,” ​he said. “Our strategy is to help customers meet that demand, both in terms of food and feed.”               

“While alternative proteins represent a small portion of our portfolio, we see value in investing in this space to address macro and consumer trends including projected global population growth, the expansion of the global middle-class and consumers’ desire for options,”​ he said. “We think there’s great opportunity in both the animal and alternative protein sectors.”

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