Time magazine’s first-ever 100 most influential companies list of 2021 features iconic plant-based companies Beyond Meat and Oatly. which puts them in the same league as Tesla, Air B&B, and Apple to name just three.
So which companies are shaping our future? That’s the question at the heart of the first ever TIME100 Most Influential Companies, a new list – and an expansion of the iconic TIME100 franchise – that highlights businesses making an extraordinary impact around the world. Together, these businesses – and the leaders who steer them – are helping to chart an essential path forward.
Two pioneers in the plant-based food industry feature in the Times’ Top 100 Companies – Oatly the oat-derived milk substitute and Beyond Meat which is one of the faster-growing U.S. food companies with their plant-based proteins.
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 sanitizer. 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.
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 incredible.
Celebrating the title, Beyond Meat said: “Thank you TIME for including us in your first-ever TIME100 Most Influential Companies. “Our impact relies on our relentless approach to innovation, the constant quest to put even better products out today than we did yesterday. “We’re inspired by the power of plant-based food and empowered by our community. Let’s keep going Beyond.”