It’s official, plant-based businesses are changing the world.
Beyond Meat and Oatly have been featured in TIME magazine as part of its first-ever ‘100 Most Influential Companies’ list.
The magazine is known for its annual ‘Person of the Year’ list, but this year TIME has focused on influential businesses.
Nominations were put forward from its global network of editors, industry experts and correspondents, and the magazine then evaluated each nominee based on six factors. These were relevance, impact, innovation, leadership, ambition and success.
The plant-based pioneers were featured amongst dating app Bumble, Rihanna’s clothing line Savage X Fenty, and mindfulness app Headspace.
Beyond Meat was praised for having ‘popularised plant-based protein’ while Oatly was hailed as having ‘expanded an oat-milk empire’.
Popularising plant-based protein
Expanding on Beyond Meat’s influence, TIME magazine wrote:
Increasing concern over cows and climate change—raising cattle takes lots of energy, and their digestion emits greenhouse gases—has helped make Beyond Meat one of the faster-growing U.S. food companies; its plant-based proteins dot grocery cases and menus at KFC, Dunkin’ and Pizza Hut.
Now it’s expanding even more: in February, the 12-year-old company signed a three-year deal to become the preferred provider for the McPlant line at McDonald’s.
“The mainstreaming of our products is incredibly important” for the planet, says CEO Ethan Brown. Plant-based steak and bacon are the “holy-grail items,” he says.
An oat-milk empire
Similarly, TIME magazine wrote about Oatly:
Sweden-based Oatly—the original oat-derived milk substitute, billed as a more sustainable alternative to traditional dairy—first became popular with baristas in the U.S. around 2017, and demand has soared ever since.
In the first weeks of the pandemic, sales of the cartons, which have a shelf life of up to one year, surged even more quickly than sales of hand sanitiser.
In February, after raising more than $200 million in venture capital, the company filed for an IPO in the U.S.; the next month, it announced plans to open one of the world’s largest plant-based “dairy” factories in the U.K.