Future Farm is taking its name seriously.
The Brazil-based company — also known as Fazenda Futuro, which is its name in Portuguese — got its start in 2019 with plant-based burgers in its home country.
In the last four years, the company has expanded to 33 countries, including the U.S. in 2021. The company has also broadened its offerings to a variety of other meat analogs, including chicken, sausage and tuna, the latter recently launching in the U.S.
But now, CEO Alexandre Ruberti said, the company is going to start exemplifying its name. Future Farm is launching oat milk in Brazil at the beginning of May. They’re working on plant-based honey. They’re also looking at plant-based Brazilian-style meat snack launches. And they’re working to formulate plant-based cheese.
“The idea here is to think about the future of farming,” Ruberti said. “Everything that the farm can provide to us, we are going to be on the thread to provide it to consumers. ...We want to be the one-stop shop for the retailers and consumers as well.”
“When they see us, they see our brands, they know the quality that we have behind [them] to facilitate,” he continued. “Being a plant-based company in this environment is very hard nowadays, but if you go and change the game, playing as a CPG company, thinking much more in terms of the consumer, at the end of the day, I think it's going to be a complete game change for us.”
Ruberti said there is nothing particularly new about this vision. Future Farm always had a “huge innovation pipeline,” he said, and had been working on some of these options for years.
While there is a planned launch date for the milk in Brazil, which will be called Future Oat — in chocolate, vanilla, barista, oat and cooking varieties — Ruberti couldn’t say when it might come to the United States. It all depends on consumer behavior here versus other countries, he said, but Future Farm is concentrating on Brazil, the U.S., the U.K. and Germany.
Plant-based milk is already a crowded category, but Ruberti said that Future Farm plans to use its already-familiar branding and execution to stand out to consumers. Ruberti said that the company will use another one of its broad goals to drive consumers to the product: low prices.
Plant-based honey was a natural place for Future Farm to expand, Ruberti said. Not only are there very few players in the space, but the product is made from sugar cane, which is plentiful in Brazil. Future Farm uses some enzymes to process the plant-based honey to get the correct texture and taste, Ruberti said, but it is 100% natural.
The company said it does not have a name or launch date for the plant-based honey product yet.
Future Farm has ample manufacturing to make a more diverse product line, Ruberti said.
Ruberti acknowledged that playing in diverse categories is challenging, but thinks both retailers and consumers want to know there is one brand that can take care of their plant-based needs. It’s going to be a learning experience, Ruberti said.
“We would prefer to spend more time developing products, trying this out, and then see what's the outcome,” he said. “If the outcome is positive, we can roll out. If the outcome is not positive, we go back and then we do our homework again.”
He also said that getting into different areas right now — especially the more-successful plant-based milk category and the completely new plant-based honey segment — has nothing to do with the more recent slowdown in the plant-based meat category. But, he said, the current situation feeds into the need for companies like Future Farm to be resilient.
“We are not here selling technology,” Ruberti said. “We are selling food. Good food, clean food with clean ingredients. I think this is the main point to speak directly to the consumer.”