MINNEAPOLIS — Plant-based patties and ground products for private label from Cargill will start appearing at retail and food service in April. The introduction makes Cargill the latest meat processor to add meat alternatives to its portfolio.

“Cargill has a strong history of providing high-quality protein products to customers,” said Elizabeth Gutschenritter, managing director of Cargill’s alternative protein team. “Producing plant-based products across our global supply chain is the logical next step to expanding our ability to meet consumer needs and bring new value to this category.”

Cargill has invested $7 billion globally in animal protein production and processing during the past five years while making strategic investments in the alternative protein space. This past August, the company invested $75 million in Puris, a pea protein ingredient supplier. The investment allowed Puris to increase pea protein production using an existing 200,000-square-foot facility in Dawson, Minn.

“We need to keep all protein options on the table,” said Brian Sikes, the leader of Cargill’s global protein and salt business. “Whether you are eating alternative or animal protein, Cargill will be at the center of the plate.”

Cargill joins several other meat processors that have entered the meat alternative space. Tyson Foods, Inc., Springdale, Ark., offers the Raised & Rooted brand while Hormel Foods Corp., Austin, Minn., manufactures and markets the Happy Little Plants brand. Maple Leaf Foods, Toronto, is marketing a variety of meat alternative applications through its Greenleaf Foods subsidiary.