US agribusiness Cargill is launching plant-based hamburger patties and ground ‘meat’ products using soya and pea protein in April, Reuters reported on 27 February.

The company’s entry into the plant-based sector challenges alternative meat firms such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods and highlights the growing popularity of plant-based foods.

Cargill said its patties and ground products could be made into tacos, spaghetti sauce or other dishes. Retailers would also be able to sell the products under their own labels.

It planned to use its experience in handling ingredients and buying crops to produce the private-label products more efficiently than competitors, Reuters wrote.

“We believe we’re uniquely positioned to be very effective and efficient in the supply chain,” said Elizabeth Gutschenritter, managing director of Cargill’s alternative protein team.

Cargill’s portfolio would encompass both pea and soya formulations, she added.

North American pea protein producer Puris was a supplier to both Cargill and Beyond Meat.

Reuters said Cargill was better known for trading crops such as corn and soyabeans globally and supplying ground beef.