Pulled Oats Enters U.S. Market As Exciting New Meat Alternative
2 noviembre 2020
Pulled Oats in a skillet
As consumers become more conscious of their health, interested in the sourcing of their food, and concerned about the environment, the market for plant-based protein products, or meat alternatives, has grown exponentially—and it seems like there’s no end in sight.
Research and Markets WMK reports that the global plant-based protein market size is projected to grow from USD 10.3 billion to USD 14.5 billion by 2025 in terms of value. Brands like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have gone mainstream. And, in February of this year, a new plant-based protein joined the competition in the U.S.: Pulled Oats from Gold&Green Foods.
Launched in Finland in 2015, Pulled Oats became a national phenomenon and expanded throughout Europe. In 2017, it was voted “Finnish Food of the Year” in a contest organized by the Finnish Food and Drink Industries’ Federation. In 2020, it was named the overall winner of the Horecava Innovation Awards (Horecava being the largest hospitality fair in the Netherlands).
Maija Itkonen, cofounder and chief innovations officer of Gold&Green Foods
“I think what really sets Pulled Oats apart is the fact that we are not necessarily trying to mimic meat, but instead create a tasty protein option that stands on its own,” says Maija Itkonen, the cofounder and chief innovations officer of Gold&Green Foods.
Compared to competitors, one of Pulled Oats’ distinguishing features is its surprisingly short list of clean ingredients: oats, fava beans, yellow peas, oil, and salt.
“I think when you look at a lot of the meat alternatives on the market, you’ll start to notice a lot of them are very processed and contain saturated and modified fats, filling agents and stabilizers,” says Itkonen. “Usually the protein content is quite low, and even worse, nobody even mentions the quality of the protein. And consumers who have certain food sensitivities like soy-sensitivity have to be extra careful since many plant-based products often contain soy as the main protein source.”
Pulled Oats’ refreshingly minimal and easy-to-pronounce ingredients are right on trend as consumers express increased interest and demand for “clean” food. According to ReportLinker, the clean label ingredients market is projected to reach $64.1 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 6.8% from 2019 to 2026.
Manufacturing of Pulled Oats
“My aha moment came when I started thinking about the amazing nutritional attributes of our local Nordic Oat and the fact that oats are one of the most sustainable crops grown today,” Itkonen states. “Pulled Oats is packed with fiber and as much, if not more, protein than other animal and plant proteins. It is free of cholesterol and low in saturated fat and contains no animal-based or genetically manipulated ingredients, no fillers, preservatives or other additives, and no soy. The combination of oats and legumes creates a complete source of protein, containing all nine essential amino acids.”
“As a brand new product in the U.S. market, we needed a partner like Sysco who could provide the knowledge, experience and reach,” Itkonen explains. “Sysco has a wide distribution network across the country with great clientele who are looking for high-quality ingredients. With Sysco, we have access to a diverse range of operators across segments.”
Tacos made with Pulled Oats
While the plan is to eventually go into retail, Itkonen says they thought food service would be a great way to familiarize consumers with the product while demonstrating the versatility in a variety of menu applications.
It’s not just restaurants where Pulled Oats has garnered attention though. Itkonen says colleges, universities, and K-12 were the biggest sales drivers before COVID-19 and that they’ve received interest from long-term care and hospitals.
As demand for plant-based foods continues to rise, Pulled Oats is surely an exciting brand to watch.