Maple Leaf aims to profit from fake meat

Article Excerpt

MAPLE LEAF FOODS INC. $29 (Toronto symbol MFI; Conservative Growth Portfolio, Consumer sector; Shares o/s: 124.4 million; Market cap: $3.6 billion; Price-to-sales ratio: 1.0; Dividend yield: 2.0%; TSINetwork Rating: Average; www.mapleleaffoods.com) sells fresh and prepared meats under the Maple Leaf and Schneider brands. In response to changing consumer tastes, the company has expanded beyond its traditional products. For example, in March 2017, it paid $190.7 million for Lightlife Foods. Based in Massachusetts, it makes refrigerated plant-based protein foods. Those products include hamburgers and hot dogs that look and taste like regular meat products. In January 2018, Maple Leaf acquired Field Roast Grain Meat Co. Based in Seattle, that firm makes grain-based “meat” and “cheese” products (vegetarian). The company paid $140.2 million for the business. Maple Leaf now aims to ramp up production of plant-based protein products. It continues to build a new plant in Shelbyville, Indiana, to expand the production of vegetarian products. The facility will cost $310 million U.S.; however, government grants will cover…

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