Tattooed chef can start selling – what? And what is the next step for Alt-Protein in 2023

II close out the year with an excerpt from my book, Raw Deal, all about the investor frenzy that has fueled the herbal boom, and a scoop. Tattooed Chef, a brand that went public in 2020 as a plant-based food company, is now considering what was once unthinkable: selling meat.

Why? According to its CEO, profit is driving the potential departure. Like many alternative protein companies, Tattooed Chef is struggling. As CEO Salvatore “Sam” Galletti told me, “We have an obligation to our shareholders. We will reverse our losses as aggressively as anyone has ever seen.”

We’ll see if Tattooed Chef ultimately decides to launch a line with animal protein, which could alienate the brand’s core customers. But the potential is also a signal of the pressure that awaits many facility-based startups in 2023.

This will be the last Forbes Fresh Take issue until the new year. I wish you a wonderful holiday, with lots of rest, relaxation and rejuvenation!

—Chloe Sorvino, staff writer

Order my book, Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed and the Fight for the Future of Meatout now from Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books.

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What is Fresh

The stupid money driving the plant-based meat bomb. In an exclusive excerpt from Hard bids, investors see companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods as a way to help save the planet. The problem is that they also want to get rich. Instead, they may die trying. By Yours Truly.

Tattooed chef, a plant-based food pioneer, believes the unthinkable. In a blow to the meat-free meat industry, the publicly traded food company says real meat could be added to a new product line to boost profits. By Yours Truly.

Billionaire Mozzarella King wins lawsuit over family feud that threatened his business. Leprino Foods, the world’s largest mozzarella maker, could have been forced out of business amid a family feud that unfolded over the past two weeks in a Denver court. But the jury sided with Leprino Foods and its billionaire owner James Leprino. By Yours Truly.

Why the Federal Reserve Can’t Solve Food Price Inflation. The Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates in response to price inflation. But monetary policy misses the connection between how corporate profits and pricing strategies hurt consumers and create a recession, writes Errol Schweizer.

Chloe Sorvino leads food and agriculture coverage as a staff writer on the business team at Forbes. Her book, Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed and the Fight for the Future of Meat, will be published on December 6, 2022, with Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books. Her nearly nine years of reporting at Forbes have taken her to In-N-Out Burger’s secret test kitchen, drought-stricken farms in California’s Central Valley, burned-out national forests logged by a logging billionaire, a century-old slaughterhouse in Omaha, and even a chocolate croissant factory designed as a medieval castle in northern France.

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