ELMHURST, ILL. — The Kellogg Co.’s MorningStar Farms brand has committed to convert its entire portfolio to be 100% plant-based by 2021. The conversion, which will reduce the use of more than 300 million egg whites annually, includes all food service products available to 25,000 restaurants and eating establishments within K-12 schools, colleges, universities and hospitals, as well as all retail products.
“MorningStar Farms has always been all about fueling culinary creations through our versatile portfolio of high-quality, great tasting products,” said Gavin Bowyer, senior director of commercial marketing at Kellogg. “We’re making plant-based eating more accessible by giving our customers the freedom to create unique and flavorful 100% plant-based favorites while playing a larger part in protecting our planet by reducing the water waste, land usage, and carbon emission associated with egg production.”
MorningStar’s food service portfolio consists of 26 products, including seven burgers. The company is adding to the lineup the new MorningStar Farms Meat Lovers Vegan Burger, made with non-G.M.O. soy and packed with 27 grams of protein. The burger offers a meat-like texture, Kellogg said, and contains at least 50% less saturated fat than other plant-based protein competitors such as Impossible Foods’ Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger.
“We know that taste, texture, and quality are the most desired attributes customers seek, so we are more than excited to serve up the no-sacrifice MorningStar Farms Meat Lovers Vegan Burger to food service channels everywhere,” said Oona Settembre, executive chef of commercial national sales at Kellogg Specialty Channels. “Our conversion to 100% plant-based and new innovations like the Meat Lovers Vegan Burger will help our customers move plant-based protein menu items to the center of the plate while contributing to a greener world.”
All MorningStar Farms retail products will also be transitioned to 100% plant-based by 2021. About 50% of the portfolio already has been converted, Kellogg said, and the percentage should increase to 65% by the end of 2019. The changeover includes all Chick'n nuggets and patties, and the Meat Lovers, Veggie Lovers, Falafel and Tex-Mex burgers.
As part of its plant-based pledge, MorningStar Farms is introducing the MorningStar Farms Cheezeburger, which features the brand’s vegan Meat Lovers quarter-lb patty blended with plant-based cheddar “cheeze.” The patty packs 23 grams of plant-based protein and will debut at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif., on March 7.
“MorningStar Farms’ decision to make their entire product portfolio 100% plant-based is a huge win for both consumers and the planet,” said Bruce Friedrich, co-founder and executive director of The Good Food Institute. “MorningStar Farms continues to raise the bar for making delicious plant-based meat accessible to everyone. We commend their leadership and are thrilled to partner with them on this important, forward-thinking commitment.”
Morningstar Farms’ vow to go vegan joins similar commitments and new product launches in the active alternative meat category.
This week, Beyond Meat expanded its plant-based portfolio with Beyond Beef, a new ground beef alternative made with a blend of mung, pea and rice proteins. Beyond Beef offers 20 grams of protein per serving and is designed to mimic the taste, texture and versatility of meat.
“We’ve long had our eye on creating a product that enables consumers to enjoy all the benefits and versatility of ground beef while tapping into the human health, environmental, and animal welfare benefits of plant-based foods,” said Ethan Brown, founder and chief executive officer of Beyond Meat. “As is our commitment, we’ve built this latest addition to our family of plant-based meats while being thoughtful about ingredient choices that support everyday use by the whole family, including strict avoidance of G.M.O.s, soy or gluten.”