Kellogg Co. is extending its MorningStar Farms portfolio with the introduction of Incogmeato by MorningStar Farms. The new product line includes the company’s first ready-to-cook plant-based burger to be sold in the refrigerated meat case and frozen, fully prepared plant-based Chik’n tenders and nuggets.
“Our testing indicates we have a consumer preference for our food,” Steven A. Cahillane, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Kellogg, said during a Sept. 4 presentation at the Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference in Boston. “We think the food is outstanding. I’ve been in our test kitchen myself grilling this up. It is a real meat-like experience. It grills like meat. It bleeds like meat. It tastes like meat, and we’re very excited. We think we have a right to win in this space, and … launching in the first quarter of 2020, and we have ambitious plans for this.”
MorningStar Farms has been involved in the plant-based foods space for many years, and according to Kellogg often has been the first meat-alternative product people have tried. Now the company is hoping to build on its name recognition at a time when more and more companies are entering the plant-based foods category.
“We know that about three-fourths of Americans are open to plant-based eating, yet only 1 in 4 actually purchase a plant-based alternative,” said Sara Young, general manager, MorningStar Farms, plant-based proteins. “"So, the intent is fully there, but it hasn’t necessarily been followed with action. We know the No. 1 barrier to trying plant-based protein is taste. These consumers are still seeking the amazing taste, texture and sizzling qualities of meat but want a better alternative for themselves and the planet.”
Kellogg said the 4-oz plant-based patties are made with non-G.M.O. soy and will be sold in the refrigerated meat case. The plant-based Chik’n tenders and nuggets, also made with non-G.M.O. soy, will be sold in the freezer section.
Also during the Barclays presentation Mr. Cahillane said Kellogg is testing a product called “leaf jerky,” which he described as being a 100% plant-based meat jerky. He said the product arose out of a program at Kellogg called “Tiger Tank,” which is the company’s version of the television show “Shark Tank.”
“Internal employees came up with this idea for Leaf Jerky,” he said. “One year later, we’re launching. And so we’re launching in a test. We’ll see what it does.”