The plant-based meat market is rapidly expanding with a plethora of beef and chicken options entering the market from small startups to large CPG firms all vying for their share of the market. However, the smaller market of plant-based pork is also on a rapid trajectory and presents an untapped opportunity for plant-based protein producers such as Barvecue, claims the company.
According to FMI Insights, the global plant-based pork market is projected to rise at a CAGR of 24.0% between 2020 and 2030. By comparison, plant-based chicken and beef are projected to grow at 19.1% and 22.7% CAGR during the same period, respectively.
As the second most consumed animal protein in the world behind poultry (according to KIT International), the pork market is primed for plant-based innovation, says Cooper, who sees stealing market share from the traditional animal pork market as the biggest opportunity for Barvecue.
“Barvecue intends to lead the plant-based barbecue space. More specifically, with our authentic wood-smoked Pulled BVQ, we are out in front with a unique plant-based protein that delivers on great taste, texture and a clean label for this underserved category,” Cooper told FoodNavigator-USA.
“For Barvecue that means initially capturing the pulled pork category.”
As a new company in the plant-based meat space, Cooper shared that Barvecue is in the pre-revenue stage with an accelerated path to market in play which includes a new 10,000-square-foot production facility with initial capacity to produce 800,000 lbs per year of Barvecue’s Pulled BVQ (with original sauce), Chopped BVQ (same as pulled, but gluten-free) and Naked versions of both (lightly seasoned, no sauce).
“As we open the new Carolina Smokehouse, we expect to increase revenue and fill capacity quickly,” said Cooper.
Delivering on authentic BBQ taste and experience
As a prominent feature of American and global cuisines, Barvecue is intent on delivering on authentic barbecue taste and texture.
“BBQ means a lot of things to people all over the world. It's a huge market that is really about comfort food and connecting with others over that food. The pressure is making sure we execute and seize the opportunity. With our new plant-based smokehouse, we intend to do just that,” said Cooper.
The company’s Carolina Smokehouse facility located in North Carolina smokes its plant-based pork (made from a blend of soy, wheat, and sweet potato protein) to mimic the taste, texture, and consumer experience of traditional pulled pork barbecue.
“Our focus is on scaling batch-made authentic wood-smoked plant proteins. We use some old-school processes and apply modern food tech to help with efficiencies and ultimately drive down costs without sacrificing taste, texture, and quality,” said Cooper.
Barvecue products are an attractive option to consumers looking to eat more plant-based foods as a serving of Barvecue Pulled BVQ contains 90 calories, 0g of saturated fat, 150 mg of sodium, and 7g of protein per serving.
Barvecue products come frozen and packaged in 12-ounce bags with six servings per bag.
The company currently sells its products online in bulk quantities (six 12-ounce bags for $69.95) through its direct-to-consumer site. Cooper said while the company is actively continuing to sell online, its expanded production capacity will help Barvecue target retail and foodservice channels where demand for plant-based pulled pork is strong and growing.
“The BBQ space is huge and there is tremendous opportunity for plant-based options. We are here to give everyone the barbecue taste they love in a healthy, environmentally friendly product,” said Cooper.