Even if you’re not on a diet at the moment, everyone in the meat industry should at least be aware of different types of diets. There are Keto and Paleo dieters out there who might be ideal consumers for your products, if you know how to market to them. Companies who make meat snacks in particular are ideal candidates to market to people looking for a low-carb, high-protein diet.

Then there are the “flexitarians.” As described by the Cleveland Clinic, the flexitarian diet is essentially a flexible alternative to being a vegetarian. “So you’re still focusing on fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes and nuts, but you occasionally still enjoy meat,” says registered dietitian Kate Patton.

To quote the cinematic classic Dumb and Dumber: “So you’re telling me there’s a chance.” This consumer group isn’t rejecting meat entirely, but they’re probably going to be very picky about what they’re going to purchase and from whom. Companies that are as transparent as possible, that utilize sustainable practices and market attributes like “antibiotic-free,” “grass-fed” or “regenerative agriculture” likely stand the best chance of reaching this demographic.

There is another alternative. Companies can start getting involved with the plant-based protein market themselves. Processors of all sizes are jumping into it. The large corporations like Tyson and Cargill have made their presence in the plant-based world, but smaller processors are launching products as well. The latest was Country Archer Provisions, a popular meat snack brand that has released a line of plant-based jerky. According to the company, it’s not as big a stretch as you’d think.

“The new line continues our commitment to crafting real food to craft a better world, delivering a snack for flexitarians, curious carnivores and omnivores, meeting at the intersection of taste and real ingredients,” says Eugene Kang, co-founder and CEO. The company’s desire for quality products hasn’t changed, it’s only shifted from grass-fed beef to King Oyster mushrooms.

Both sides of the meat vs. vegetable debate have acted pretty snarky toward each other at times. However, there is a market that needs good quality food, if it’s made from animal protein or pea protein. If someone is going to cater to that audience, it may as well be you.

Sam Gazdziak gazdziaks@bnpmedia.com