Fake-meat craze catches eye of grain, seed firms

The meteoric rise of the plant-based meat industry and leading start-up manufacturers Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods - has caught the attention of another business sector - big agriculture.

Recent announcements show top grain and seed companies are jumping on the bandwagon to cash in on the booming alternative-meat trend.

For example Bunge recently disclosed it's taken a small stake in Wall Street darling - Beyond Meat.

Right now fake-meat only accounts for about 5% of all meat sales in the U.S. but that number is expected to triple over the next decade, according to one estimate.

And it's not just Bunge, Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland are also getting in on the craze. They've either bought stakes in fake-meat start-ups, their suppliers, or are looking to sell directly to plant-based meat producers.

These moves - also defensive defensive - since grain and seed companies could face lower sales to traditional meat producers, who buy their products for animal feed.

So far an investment in fake-meat is yielding beefy returns. Shares of Beyond Meat are up 250 percent since their May IPO.