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Brazil is famous for many things – its vibrant culture and stunning landscape, but also its inhabitants’ insatiable appetite for animal products. In fact, it ranks as the world’s third-largest consumer of meat, behind China and the US.
A massive 70 percent of the Brazilian population consumes meat on a regular basis. This means companies trying to introduce plant-based alternatives have their work cut out for them. But one company seems to have cracked this tough market: Future Farm.
Breaking out of the meat market
Future Farm makes a range of delicious plant-based alternatives and has sold a staggering 9 million burgers in the country. The Future Burger accounts for almost a quarter (23 percent) of burger sales in the Pão de Açúcar, the country’s largest retailer.
The award-winning company, and Brazil’s first plant-based meat startup, has stormed through 21 countries. Plus, it has set its sights on developing even further with one consistent goal: to be the future of protein.
This year, Future Farm plans to dominate the global plant-based burger scene, starting by reaching twice the number of countries its meatless products are currently available in.
Already the market leader in the United Arab Emirates, at the popular supermarket Carrefour, the company dominates with 31 percent of the market share – ahead of Beyond Meat. Products have since been launched in countries including Holland, Germany, and the UK.
Sales are set to skyrocket now Future Farm’s products are available in Sainsbury’s stores across the UK – marking the company’s growing expansion. Within one weekend, products flew off the shelves and sold out across a number of the 400 stores the products are stocked in.
For many meat-eaters, Brazil is home to the holy grail. ‘If there is a global meatless meat substitute, we believe it should be Brazilian’, says Marketing Director Pedro Zuim, and that’s because it’s a country world-renowned for its high quality and fine-tasting meat.
It’s evident that Future Farm’s happy customers agree. Within just one week of landing on Sainsbury’s shelves, a frenzy of positive reviews circled on social media in their thousands: totaling more than 30,000 engagements.
Customers hailed it superior to other plant-based meat alternatives on the market, one announcing: ‘I tried as many vegan burgers possible and this one is the BEST’, and another: ‘I am hooked! I have never tasted anything that comes close to a beef burger.’
The company has worked tirelessly to crack the formula when it comes to satisfying even the most omnivorous palate, combining natural ingredients with pioneering technology. Future Farm invests almost a third of gross revenue back into research and development, enabling an innovative approach to product evolution.
Just like technology products, its plant-based meat alternatives are in a continual process of testing and improvement. To keep up with cutting edge technology, Future Farm uses artificial intelligence to study meat molecules closely. Sensory tests are conducted to calibrate the optimal amount of each ingredient before the plant-based products are made.
But it doesn’t stop there. Throughout the year, customers can expect to see new iterations of products hitting the shelves – edging even closer to the flavor, texture, and juiciness of meat.
Its taste, texture, and commitment to development have led the company to award-winning success. Just last year, Future Farm won a Fast Company award for World-Changing Ideas – alongside finalists including Nike, Google, and Disney.
Future Farm’s ‘bleeding’ meat
Future Farm makes a range of products. These include Future Burger, Future Meatball, Future Sausage, and Future Mince. It has one major goal when it comes to its products; to make meat obsolete by offering an excellent alternative. Ingredients include soy, chickpeas, green peas, and beetroot – and the final products are free from GMO and gluten.
When it comes to replicating meat, there are several key issues producers need to consider; these include not only flavor, but also mouthfeel, texture, and juiciness.
It is with this in mind, that the company has set out to create meat analogs that ‘bleed’. The secret lies in plants, of course – utilizing the humble beetroot to replicate a beef burger that has the power to fool carnivores in Brazil and now, across the world.
Where did Future Farm begin?
The company’s founders, Marcus Leta and Alfredo Strechinsky first created an innovative juice business, Do Bem in 2016. Passionate about nutrition, the pair sold Do Bem and turned their sights to creating hyper-realistic plant-based meat.
After an entire year of developing the tantalizing recipe for the Future Burger, complete with development, research, and fine-tuning – the company’s first product was ready for release in 2019.
Products launched in supermarkets across Brazil in 2019, becoming a sensation among flexitarians, vegetarians, and vegans alike. Within a few months, it became a leading force in the Brazilian food market.
The following year saw global expansion, making it one of the youngest Brazilian companies to stretch into over 15 countries. Following further investment, the company was valued at an enormous R$715 million (£97 million).
Plant-based meat for carnivores and the climate-conscious
In an exclusive statement sent to Plant Based News, Marketing Coordinator Paula Bona said: “Our aim is for meat-loving carnivores to enjoy our products as much as they do meat. We believe that by changing how those people eat meat, we could positively impact our environment.”
With taste and texture mastered, CEO Marcus Leta continued his quest on finding a sustainable solution to perfect fast-food for the environmentally conscious. Future Farm’s ultimate goal is to help people to switch to a meatless diet in the most climate-friendly way possible.
This follows the meticulously evidenced claims made by a wealth of scientists, doctors, and politicians that the meat industry is a leading cause of deforestation, in both Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest and across the world. Deforestation is caused when industrial-scale meat producers clear land to grow crops for animal feed.
Future Farm’s Pedro Zuim stressed: “In Brazil, we have the world’s greatest natural resource, the Amazon rainforest. But, it’s being destroyed to grow soy to feed animals.
“It just didn’t make sense to us. By replicating the same satisfaction we get from eating meat, using plants, we have revolutionized food in a way that is good for the people, the planet, and your plate.”
‘Buy back the amazon’
The company aims to ‘buy back the Amazon’ from the meat industry. The industry has been blamed for causing the host of devastating fires across the Amazon Rainforest in recent years. Saving it from deforestation has been clearly linked to helping the wider planet.
Future Farm takes this seriously. It is not just creating products designed to avoid harm to the environment, but rather, actively trying to save it. This involves being part of the Round Table Of Responsible Soy Association (RTRS), which promotes the ethical production of soy. Ultimately, the company plans to save the rainforest by urging more people around the globe to reduce their meat consumption.
But fighting for the Amazon and steering Brazilians away from meat has been no easy task. Slaughterhouses dominating business across Brazil and devastating the rainforest as they go. Future Farm was created to change that.
So, what’s next for Future Farm?
One step ahead as ever, Future Farm has already started developing new plant-based products. Moreover, the US will see the launch this year, followed by Asia.
The future of Future Farm is bright, both for the planet and people’s diets across the globe.
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