The fake meat industry is exploding

For your Meatless Monday reading enjoyment.

Fortune

The hunger for fake meat — or meatless meat — is getting bigger. So much so that the latest sales numbers of plant-based meat alternatives reached $553 million in 2012, representing a growth spurt of 8 percent from 2010. “We are doubling the business annually,” said Ethan Brown, CEO of Beyond Meat, which makes non-animal food products like the Beast Burger and has an active group of investors that includes Bill Gates and former Twitter execs Biz Stone and Evan Williams.

“We’re growing like a weed and expect to keep growing,” said Martha Pincoffs, founder of Minnesota-based Hot Dang Grain Burgers that makes meatless items, such as the “Big Tex,” a grain burger ready made for the barbecue. Her products are sold in many Whole Food stores across the country.

Why the increase in meatless meat? Those in the know say better health habits among consumers, along with tastier products…

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