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Video: ButcherBox CEO on why the industry needs to embrace claims-based meats

Customers want their meat dollars to make an impact, says Mike Salguero


Mike Salguero has been on the forefront of the claims-based meat movement since founding ButcherBox in 2015, when he discovered that 100% grass-fed beef was extremely hard to find in the U.S. He built ButcherBox as a subscription-based online butcher and retailer, with a focus on making high-quality meat more accessible to all with an emphasis on animal welfare, the environment, supporting farmers and fisherman, and social initiatives such as diversity, equity and inclusion.

Salguero recently joined Supermarket News for an upcoming SN Off the Shelf podcast, and during that conversation he expounded upon why consumers are increasingly seeking out high-quality claims-based meat and why plant-based alternatives may not be the answer for consumers who want their protein purchases to make an impact.

One burgeoning area he does expect to see growth in is the category of inclusion burgers. “These are the burgers that are half meat, half vegetable, like mushroom,” Salguero said. “I think that's going to be really big, and far bigger, I think, than plant based.”

As consumers become much more engaged with sustainability and social issues such as animal welfare, the meat industry needs to respond, said Salguero.

“I think that the meat industry needs to embrace this rather than fight against it,” he said. “The question is, are you going to keep saying, eh, this is niche, this is super small, can't make it can't scale, it’s not affordable — you know, all the things that people say rather than like, wow, we really need to figure this out. And I’m excited that retail and meat companies are waking up to it and are saying we need to make this a priority.”

For more of Mike Salguero’s insights on claims-based and plant-based meats, watch the video above and stay tuned for our upcoming SN Off the Shelf podcast with Mike later this month.

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