Back to News

Keeping up with evolving protein trends

Reference: FCC

How worried should Canadian livestock producers be about plant-based meat substitutes?

Plant-based burgers have become a major food trend in just the last couple of years. They’re available in the meat aisle of your local supermarket and they’re heavily promoted by major restaurant chains like A&W, Burger King and Subway.

Even McDonald’s, a champion for the beef industry in Canada, is testing the market. Ontario was chosen as their worldwide pilot for the P.L.T. burger (plant, lettuce and tomato) involving 28 restaurants in locations such as London and Sarnia. If McDonald’s – with its global footprint – embraces plant-based alternatives in a significant way, supply will have to ramp up dramatically.

Increased demand for pulses
Pulse crop growers, particularly field pea producers, welcome the growing demand and major pea protein processing facilities are in various stages of being commissioned at locations across the Prairie provinces.

Food professor Sylvain Charlebois with Dalhousie University in Halifax has followed the “protein wars” closely and has written and presented extensively on the topic. In his view, the rise of plant-based burgers and other meat alternatives is not necessarily negative for the livestock industry... Read More