Frozen-food giant Pinnacle Foods—parent company of vegan brand, Gardein—is placing a new emphasis on plant-based protein.
Plant-based meat alternative company Gardein is helping to redefine consumer’s ideas about protein choices, according to the brand’s billion-dollar parent company Pinnacle Foods. “We actually think we are at a tipping point in terms of people starting to look at plants as an alternative to animal protein,” said Mark Schiller, president of North American Retail for Pinnacle Foods. “We know, in talking with consumers, a significant percentage of the population is actually [trying] to cut down on animal proteins.” Schiller also points out the success of Pinnacle’s frozen skillet meal offerings in delivering a category that has historically been saturated with dairy- and meat-laden options. With the recent unveiling of Gardein’s line of meat-free skillet meals—in flavors including Chick’n Florentino Pasta and Asian Chick’n Fried Rice—Pinnacle says it stands to drive even more customers to a fully plant-based concept of health and wellness. “That’s a good example of how we are leveraging the capabilities of core Pinnacle with acquisitions [such as Gardein],” Schiller said. “We know how to do it efficiently and make a delicious product … No matter how you slice it the science will say, plants are good for you and better for the planet than an animal-based diet.”