AUSTIN, MINN. — Hormel Foods Corp., through its 199 Ventures venture branch, has entered into an exclusive partnership with Sacramento, Calif.-based The Better Meat Co. The company alliance will help bring a new mycoprotein to market along with other meat alternative food products.

The Rhiza mycoprotein is produced via a potato-based fermentation that was pioneered by the company, according to The Better Meat Co. It has a meat-like texture that claims to have more protein than eggs and more iron than beef. The ingredient also is free from major allergens, low in fat, and contains no cholesterol or genetically modified organisms. 

"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."

The Better Meat Co. began in 2018 and produces meat alternative creations that are blended with beef, pork, chicken or fish. Its first major partnership led to the launch of Perdue Farms’ Chicken Plus line of tenders, patties and nuggets, which now are sold in 7,100 grocery stores.

"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."

Hormel started 199 Ventures in 2019 to help the company invest in other companies that align with its food processing future. 

Hormel Foods developed other plant-based products for Planters peanuts, Skippy peanut butter and Justin’s nut butters, as well as several plant-based pizza toppings in the foodservice industry through its subsidiary, Burke Corporation, and under the Happy Little Plants brand.