Another year, another Good Food Conference.
This time, the team from The Good Food Institute had to expand to the iconic Palace Hotel in downtown San Francisco to hold the nearly 1,000 attendees, speakers and exhibitors. Entitled “The Future of Meat,” this year’s conference focused on growth in the expanding alternative protein market.
Established brands are growing their product portfolios and new companies are launching almost weekly. We are seeing more and more companies in the upstream market, working towards securing the supply chain and modernizing the manufacturing processes for alternative proteins. A fundamental shift is underway in the food industry and it is amazing to watch it from the inside.
The Tyson Ventures team also had the opportunity at the conference to announce our latest investment in New Wave Foods, a San Francisco-based producer of plant-based shellfish products. Initially focused on shrimp, the all-female team has been innovating for years to get the taste and signature snap of shrimp just right, and crab and lobster are next on the roadmap.
Some have asked me if this means Tyson is in the seafood business – no. The New Wave team has shown deep expertise innovating with unique protein ingredients and we saw an opportunity to partner with them and continue to learn. Expected to launch in Q1 2020, we are excited for the future of New Wave Foods and the insights Tyson can learn from working with the team.
Just this year, Tyson Foods announced the launch of our Raised & Rooted® line of alternative protein products. While at the Good Food Conference, I met a woman from Iowa who pulled me aside to tell me how good the Raised & Rooted plant-based nuggets tasted; she found them in her local grocery store and took a chance on them. Winner-winner, made-from-plants nugget dinner. I always enjoy those moments when a consumer stops me and says how important a role Tyson’s products play in their families’ lives and it was even more impactful given the venue.
I am lucky to have one of the best jobs, helping to craft the future of food alongside my fellow Tyson team members. We will continue to work every day, raising expectations for the good food can do.