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Whole Foods CEO Says Grocer Launched Beyond Meat, Even Though It's 'Highly Processed'

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Whole Foods CEO Says Grocer Launched Beyond Meat, Even Though It's 'Highly Processed'

Organic grocery chain Whole Foods played a vital role in bringing Beyond Meat Inc (NASDAQ: BYND) products to the mass market, John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods, said during a recent CNBC "Make It" segment.

What Happened

Whole Foods, now owned by Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), was the first grocer to include Beyond Meat products in its aisles. The company sold Beyond Meat's vegan "chicken" strips at its stores in 2013, and this served as Beyond Meat's "launching pad," the CEO said. 

All of Beyond Meat's new products were introduced to consumers at a Whole Foods store, Mackey said. 

"We launched Beyond Meat."

Why It's Important

Mackey has been a vegan himself for more than two decades and told CNBC the health benefits of eating plant-based meat alternatives may be non-existent.

"Extremely popular" brands are selling items that are "super, highly processed foods," the executive said, declining to single out any one company by name. 

"As for health, I will not endorse that, and that is about as big of criticism that I will do in public," he told CNBC.

What's Next

Plant-based meat alternatives are, on the other hand, a more ethical option for consumers and better for the environment than traditional meat, Mackey said.

If Americans switched from beef to plant-based alternatives, it would have a benefit similar to removing 12 million cars from the road for an entire year, CNBC said, citing Fast Company. 

Related Links:

Whole Foods To Stock British Beyond Meat Competitor Meatless Farm: 'We Are One Of The Healthiest Products Out There'

Beyond Meat Products 'Catching On With Consumers,' JPMorgan Says In Upgrade

Photo by David Shankbone via Wikimedia

Posted-In: CNBC Grocery john mackey Plant Food Whole FoodsMedia Best of Benzinga

 

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