15 Plant-Based Meat Companies You Should Know

The plant-based food industry has exploded in recent years, with plant-based meats igniting the conversation about the future of food.

image of hands around burger, plant-based meat companies

Explainer Food Innovations

Plant-based eating is widely recognized as a part of the future of food, a key part of addressing the climate crisis and improving farmed animal welfare. Despite dips in sales for industry leaders like Beyond Meat, the industry persists: plant-based meat companies continue to respond to demand for vegan meats and dairy alternatives with new products. Gone are the days of scouring grocery store shelves hoping to find tofu and canned beans. In addition to the enduring staples of a vegan diet, plant-based eaters can now enjoy everything from paté and fish sticks, to burgers and chicken nuggets.

Who Are the Leaders in Plant-Based Meat?

New options for plant-based meats and proteins appear on grocery shelves regularly. Virtually every kind of animal-based protein has a delicious plant-based alternative on the market, including plant-based chicken nuggets, crab cakes, beef, eggs and even sushi fish. Below is a list of some of the many brands behind these animal-free foods.

The Plant-Based Industry, at a Glance

In 2022, plant-based meat producers garnered $6.1 billion in sales globally, marking a growth of eight percent over the previous year — and a growth of 118 percent since 2017, according to a report by the Good Food Institute. 

Unfortunately, funding dropped by 41 percent year-over-year for the plant-based sector as a whole — and despite the plant-based meat industry’s growth in recent years, its size pales in comparison to that of the conventional meat industry, valued at $897 billion in 2022.

How Many Companies Make Plant-Based Meat?

As of 2020, more than 800 companies were either strictly producing plant-based foods, or had a brand or line dedicated to the category. In November 2022, there were more than 60 plant-based meat brands that have achieved over $500,000 in sales. 

Below are just a few of the major players you should know. 

  1. Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat has taken the plant-based culinary world by storm and skyrocketed in popularity in the Global North since the introduction of its first products in 2012. Their products include proteins like burger patties, ground beef and sausage, and can be found both in grocery stores and at a variety of restaurants. In 2021, the brand relaunched its line of chicken products as well. “Beyond Meat” has perhaps become synonymous with “meat alternative” to some; the decline of its stock alone prompted a firestorm of headlines prematurely predicting the demise of the entire sector.

  1. Impossible Foods

Impossible Foods is a powerhouse in the world of vegan meats. Their burgers can be acquired from thousands of different restaurants, including chains like Burger King, White Castle and Red Robin. Their sausage, ground beef and burger patties can also be purchased from retailers.

  1. Eat JUST

While not strictly a producer of vegan meats, no list of plant-based proteins would be complete without Eat JUST and their vegan egg. The brand’s egg alternative line is small, but its products are extremely versatile, and can be used to make frittatas and scrambled eggs, or on sandwiches. Now, the company is also moving into the cultivated meat space; it recently launched cultivated chicken in Singapore, where it garnered regulatory approval.  The company plans to bring cultivated chicken to   the U.S. as well.

  1. Kellogg

Chances are that when you think of Kellogg’s, breakfast cereal comes to mind. However, the breakfast giant is also behind the brands Incogmeato and MorningStar Farms. The former’s full line of products includes seasoned sausages, chicken, ground beef, patties and breakfast links that are all fully plant-based. MorningStar Farms has a wide variety of products that are plant-based, such as corn dogs and meatballs. However, not all of their products are fully vegan, since some contain egg whites.

  1. Maple Leaf Foods

Maple Leaf Foods is the Canadian company behind popular brands Lightlife and Field Roast. In addition to offering vegan deli meats, hot dogs, burgers and bacon, Lightlife also offers flavored tempeh. Field Roast is best known for its plant-based holiday roasts, which they offer in three different varieties. In addition to these, the brand also produces pepperoni, deli slices and even plant-based cheeses, among numerous other items.

  1. Pinnacle Foods

In 2014, Pinnacle Foods purchased Gardein, a brand of fully vegan meats and prepared foods. The brand’s plant-based offerings include various cuts of chicken in a variety of flavors, burger patties, fish filets and flavored pork. Frozen prepared foods, such as their plant-based chicken sliders with buns, are also available. Pinnacle Foods is now owned by Conga.

  1. Quorn Foods

When purchasing Quorn meat alternatives, look for the ones marked vegan; some of their products, including all their refrigerated offerings, contain egg whites. The brand still offers a wide variety of fully vegan products, including their chipotle cutlets, buffalo dippersand fishless sticks.

  1. Tofurky

Tofurky has been producing plant-based meats since 1980, growing from a small startup to one of the most well-known brands in its industry. Many consumers know the brand for its Thanksgiving holiday roasts, but Tofurky also makes other plant-based meats in the form of deli slices, a ham roast, burgers, sausages, tempeh and more. In February 2023, Tofurky was purchased by tofu producer Morinaga for $50 million.

  1. Gardein

Gardein is a very popular brand that offers a variety of plant-based options such as fishless filets, chicken nuggets, and sauced and seasoned plant-based meats. The brand also offers convenient frozen prepared foods, such as black bean sliders with buns. Gardein was purchased by Pinnacle Foods for $154 million in 2014.

  1. MorningStar Farms

Perhaps one of the most familiar plant-based meat brands in the United States, MorningStar Farms has been available on grocery store shelves since 1975. Though not all of their products are presently vegan, the company once committed to making the transition to being fully plant-based (however, its goal of achieving that by the end of 2021 was missed). In the meantime, many of their products are already vegan, including their grillers veggie burgers and chik’n patties.

  1. The Vegetarian Butcher

The Vegetarian Butcher was founded by Jaap Korteweg, an animal farmer turned plant-based meat maker. Among the company’s vegan products are its Impeckable Chicken breasts, Patty on the Back ground meat, and the Happy Go Clucky patty. In 2018, The Vegetarian Butcher was purchased by Unilever, a multinational corporation now worth over $132 billion, for an undisclosed amount.

  1. Sunfed

Sunfed is a brand based out of New Zealand that  offers “Chicken Free Chicken, Bull Free Beef and Boar Free Bacon.” The company’s products are ideal for seasoning and preparation in virtually any recipe.

  1. Gold & Green

The Finnish Gold & Green brand can be found in restaurants around the world, and in grocery stores in Finland and the Netherlands. The products available for purchase at retailers include oat-based meats, seasoned in a variety of flavors . Earlier this year, the brand partnered with Taco Bell to bring vegan meat offerings to all 53 locations of the fast food chain in the United Kingdom.

  1. Boca Foods

While most of BOCA’s offerings are vegan, consumers should make sure to check when purchasing; some of their foods,such as their All American burgers, do contain animal products. Among the brand’s numerous vegan offerings are turkey burgers, chick’n patties and even falafel bites. 

  1. Vbites Group

Vbites is a fully vegan brand that produces a considerable range of products in the United Kingdom for global distribution. The brand has been around since 1993, and offers a wide array of vegan meats and cheeses. While the company produces standard offerings like burger patties and chicken nuggets, it also manufactures plant-based pates, salmon slices and other more unusual products. 

Why Consumers Are Opting For Plant-Based Meats

Animal Welfare

Consumers are increasingly conscious of animal suffering and welfare. This has driven the popularity of vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian diets, as well as the adoption of trends such as Meatless Monday, especially in North America and Europe.


Consumers are also increasingly concerned about the environment. Animal agriculture is a leading cause of pollution, potentially emitting up to 51 percent of all greenhouse gases. The industry is also responsible for large amounts of deforestation, water usage and pollution. 

Public Health

Another driver behind the increasing popularity of vegan meats is that the public is becoming more health-conscious. Because plants do not contain cholesterol the way meat does, consumers can limit their intake by consuming more vegan meat alternatives. 


Experts also note that key markets such as Brazil, India and China have been urbanizing with remarkable speed, increasing access to a variety of premium food items, including vegan meats. 

All of these factors have worked together, and in 2020, the global plant-based meat market reached a value of $8.6 billion. It is expected to grow at a rate of 17 percent between 2021 and 2026.

Who Is the Biggest Competitor to Beyond Meat?

Impossible Foods is widely considered to be Beyond Meat’s top competitor. Founded in 2011 and 2012 respectively, the companies have appeared to be in a race to the top of the plant-based meat industry ever since, with their products appearing on menus at major fast food chains such as White Castle, Burger King, Bareburger and TGI Friday’s. The brands are perhaps best known for their signature patties, the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Burger. Often compared to each other, the two productssignaled the beginning of plant-based burgers that more closely resemble their conventional counterparts in taste and texture.

Who Invests in Plant-Based Meat?

Plant-based meat companies have won over many different types of investors, from wealthy individuals like Bill Gates, to Denmark’s government,, which invested $177 million in plant-based protein in 2021. In addition, there are several investment funds dedicated to backing plant-based and cultivated meat, including the Future Food Fund and Joyful Ventures.

Is There an ETF for Plant-Based Foods?

While there is not an exchange traded fund (ETF) explicitly for plant-based food in the United States, there is the U.S. Vegan Climate ETF. This ETF avoids investing in companies that are involved in the slaughter or mistreatment of animals, and does not invest at all in companies that are dependent on a variety of activities that cause harm to animals, the environment or people. (Some examples of such activities are animal testing, animal farming, burning of fossil fuels and military armaments.)

How to Invest in Plant-Based Companies

Investing in plant-based companies is simple and can be done either through a broker, an online trading platform or through many types of retirement accounts. You could choose to invest in an ETF, such as the U.S. Vegan Climate ETF. Another option is to invest in individual companies. There are a variety of plant-based food companies that are public, including Beyond Meat, Maple Leaf Foods and Oatly, a popular producer of oat-based dairy products.

Market Challenges for Plant-Based Meat

Sales of plant-based meats fell by one percent in 2022. It might seem like a small decrease, but many market experts believe that in order to succeed in the long-term, producers of plant-based meats must achieve price parity with conventional meats — and better mimic their taste and texture. These achievements would likely unlock a wider market, helping producers to reach more omnivorous consumers who occasionally choose plant-based protein.

Eating Plant-Based Is Easier Than Ever

With so many options to choose from, plant-based eating is easier than ever. Consumers are recognizing the environmental, welfare and health detriments of a diet full of animal-derived meats and dairy. The decision to eat more plant-based meals and reduce meat consumption becomes even easier when we recognize the intelligence of the animals who are being slaughtered and consumed.

The Bottom Line

Despite the challenges it faces, the plant-based meat industry is growing overall, amid rising consumer concerns over the treatment of animals raised for  food.

The best way to withdraw one’s support for conventionally produced meat is to choose from the many plant-based alternatives now available in stores and restaurants.

If you are looking to do more, visit Sentient Media’s Take Action page, which is regularly updated with ways to help animals, improve our food system and protect the environment.

An earlier version of this explainer was written by Grace Hussain

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