Hormel Foods to Partner for Better Meat

Alarice Rajagopal
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Hormel Foods Corporation’s venturing company 199 Ventures, announces an exclusive partnership with The Better Meat Co. to bring new mycoprotein and plant-based protein products to the marketplace.

The two companies will work together to develop the next generation of sustainable alternative protein products with The Better Meat Co.'s Rhiza mycoprotein ingredient. Produced via a potato-based fermentation pioneered by The Better Meat Co., Rhiza is an all-natural whole food mycoprotein with a meat-like texture. Boasting more protein than eggs and more iron than beef, Rhiza offers a new generation of sustainable animal-free protein for the burgeoning alternative meat market.

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"As a global branded food company, we understand our food culture is changing at a rapid pace and people are curious and willing to try great tasting, plant-based proteins," said Fred Halvin, vice president of corporate development at Hormel Foods. "We are excited to work with The Better Meat Co. team to continue to offer delicious and convenient mycoprotein and plant-based protein products."

This partnership is the latest effort into plant-based products by Hormel Foods. which already has a presence in the plant-based protein market through its Planters and Skippy retail products, as well as several the Happy Little Plants brand in the foodservice industry through its subsidiary Burke Corporation. 

The Better Meat Co. is a Sacramento-based sustainable food tech start-up founded in 2018. As a business-to-business ingredients provider, it pioneers new ways of producing animal-free protein via fermentation, generating ingredients like Rhiza that empower food companies to improve sustainability while making the meatiest alt-protein possible.

"We're proud to partner with Hormel Foods to unleash the power of fermentation to build an even more sustainable food supply," said Doni Curkendall, executive vice president of operations at The Better Meat Co. "Hormel Foods has a deep bench of expertise in both animal and plant proteins, and we look forward to working together to bring our delicious mycoprotein to the world."

199 Ventures was formed in 2019 by Hormel Foods to be the company's food forward incubator, which includes investing in companies that align with Hormel Foods growth strategies.