As grocery prices rise, alt-meat takes a bigger bite of Big Meat’s burger
Plant-based meat was having a moment before the pandemic, nabbing celebrity investors, record-setting IPOs, “Whopper” fast-food deals and high-end chefs who transformed pea protein and soy into savory, expectation-defying deliciousness.
Then the pandemic hit, restaurants closed, and many Americans were stuck at home battling anxiety and sourdough starters. Industry experts wondered whether enthusiasm for this new food category would falter and sales flag — would plant-based meat turn out to be a fad rather than a movement? It fleetingly looked grim: Last April, plant-based protein shipments to restaurants fell 27 percent, according to market research firm NPD Group.
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