Tyson Foods, one of the world's most prominent meat producers, this week announced a move into plant-based protein sources with the acquisition of a 5 percent stake in Beyond Meat.
Beyond Meat, a California-based maker of entirely plant-based beef products, burgers, chicken strips and single-serve meals, conducted a fundraising campaign that also secured investments from Microsoft founder Bill Gates, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins and the Humane Society of the United States.
Tyson officials said that the move would provide Beyond Meat with capital to help expand its products and distribution. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The New York Times reported that the investment is the first of its kind by a major meat company.
“We’re enthusiastic about this investment, which gives us exposure to a fast-growing segment of the protein market," Tyson's Monica McGurk said in a statement.
Beyond Meat founder Ethan Brown, meanwhile, said that Tyson's investment "underscores the growing market for plant protein."
"I’m pleased to welcome Tyson as an investor and look forward to leveraging this support to broaden availability of plant protein choices to consumers," Brown said.