Whole Foods CEO slams trendy meatless burgers. CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods has criticized plant-based ‘meat’ products as being too ‘highly processed’.
John Mackey, told CNBC Make It that he believes meatless burgers and chicken wings may be good for the planet, but the believes they do no favors for your health.
‘If you look at the ingredients, they are super-highly processed foods,’ he said.
‘I don’t think eating highly processed foods is healthy. I think people thrive on eating whole foods. As for health, I will not endorse that, and that is about as big a criticism that I will do in public.’
One of the biggest companies that offers plant-based ‘meat’ alternatives, Beyond Meat, sold its first products – vegan chicken strips – in Whole Foods in 2013.
We launched Beyond Meat,’ Mackey told CNBC Make It.
We were their launching pad. In fact, I think all of their new products have been introduced at Whole Foods.’
In May 2016, the company released the ‘Beyond Burger’, which became the first plant-based burger to be sold in the meat section of grocery stores, internationally, reported BBC.
In 2011, the other biggest player in the ‘vegan’ meat market, Impossible Foods, was founded.
It launched its signature product, the Impossible Burger, in 2016.
Earlier this year, Burger King announced that a vegan version of its signature Whopper – using a plant-based patty from Impossible Foods – was going to be rolled out nationally by the end of the year.
Whole Foods CEO slams trendy meatless burgers
But Mackey told CNBC Make It that he’s not a fan of the burgers’ ingredients.
‘The [brands] who are capturing the imagination of people – and I’m not going to name these brands because I’m afraid I will be associated with the critique of it,’ he said.
‘But some of these that are extremely popular now that are taking the world by storm, if you look at the ingredients, they are super, highly processed foods.’
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