Brazilian food giant JBS is exiting the US meat substitute market. JBS will close its US subsidiary, Planterra, with locations in Denver and Colorado later this year, two years after its launch. The decision follows disappointing sales of fake meat in the United States (US) and Canada.
The company did not provide the latest sales figures, but said it “intends to focus its efforts on its herbal businesses in Brazil and Europe, which continue to gain market share and expand their customer base.” ‘We continue to believe in plant-based options and remain committed to the alternative protein market.’
JBS and Planterra did not specify in what form they would be active in the U.S. vegan market. A few weeks ago, the group announced two new collaborations with two chains, Gregory’s Coffee and Veggie Grill. JBS has a product portfolio of both meat products and meat substitutes.
JPS introduced the first Plantera Foods products in the spring of 2020 under the brand name OZO, which consists of plant-based hamburgers, ground beef and meatballs. A year after the launch of Plantera, JPS acquired a vegetable company in Europe, the Dutch Vivera (see photo). JBS also makes meat substitutes under its animal protein brand Sera. JPS reported that those companies are safe this week.
After some excitement, especially at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, interest in vegetarian alternatives to meat has waned in the US. Start-up Beyond Meat, which launched in 2019 to great fanfare on Wall Street, lost momentum as a result and sales stagnated in the first half of the year.
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