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|Revenue||US$33 million (2017)|
Beyond Meat is a Los Angeles-based producer of plant-based meat substitutes founded in 2009 by Ethan Brown. Beyond Meat's products became available across the United States of America at Whole Foods Market in 2013.
Beyond Meat was founded by CEO Ethan Brown in 2009. The company has received venture funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Obvious Corporation, Bill Gates, Biz Stone, the Humane Society and Tyson Foods. The company began selling its chicken-free mock chicken products in Whole Foods across the US in April 2013. By 2014, it had developed a Beyond Beef product. The Beast Burger was available in February 2015. Beyond Sausage appeared nationwide in January 2018.
In June 2018, Beyond Meat opened its second production facility in Columbia, Missouri, resulting in a three-fold increase of the company's manufacturing space. Beyond Meat also claimed to have 27,000 different points of distribution for their products in the United States. In July, the company was rolling out their products to 50 international markets, partnering with Tesco in the UK and A&W in Canada.
Beyond Meat develops and manufactures a variety of plant protein-based food products. The vegetarian meat substitutes are made from mixtures of pea protein isolates, yeast, and other ingredients. As of 2014[update], the company's product offerings consisted of Beyond Chicken and Beyond Beef. A vegan and soy-free burger patty called The Beast was released in 2015. Its products are available for purchase in packaged form as well as in retail-prepared dishes.
Beyond Meat's chicken-free products, marketed as Beyond Chicken, are made from a mixture of soy and pea proteins, fiber, and other ingredients and are marketed as a healthy alternative to chicken meat. The ingredients are mixed and fed into a food extrusion machine that cooks the mixture while forcing it through a specially designed mechanism that uses steam, pressure, and cold water to form the product's chicken-like texture. After being processed in the extrusion machine, the product is cut to size, seasoned, and grilled before being packaged. Each batch of chicken takes approximately 90 minutes to produce.
The company's two flavors of Beyond Beef imitation ground beef product, Beefy and Feisty, are made from pea proteins, canola oil, and various seasonings. The soy and gluten-free pea protein mixture initially resembles a paste before being heated and processed by an extrusion machine. The "beefy" crumbles possess the same protein content per 55 gram serving as ground beef.
Beyond Meat announced in 2014 that it had begun development and testing of a new product called The Beast. The vegetable protein-based burger patties were taste tested by The New York Mets during a pregame event.
The Beast Burger was officially released February 2015 and is available at Whole Foods Market. The burgers are vegan, soy-free, and contain 23 grams of protein in addition to antioxidants, iron, calcium, Vitamins B6, B12 & D, Potassium, DHA Omega-3s, and ALA Omega-3s.
In May 2016, Beyond Meat released the first plant-based burger to be sold alongside beef, poultry and pork in the meat section of the grocery store. Making its debut at the Pearl St. Whole Foods in Boulder, Colorado, the Beyond Burger sold out within the first hour of hitting shelves. Starting in July 2018, the Beyond Burger was available at all of A&W Canada's locations, the second largest fast food chain in Canada. In January 2019, Carl's Jr. Restaurants LLC. announced a partnership with Beyond Meat to sell the Beyond Famous Star with cheese, a charbroiled Beyond Burger with American Cheese in more than 1,000 Carl's Jr. locations.
The Beyond Burger contains 20 grams of protein and has no soy, no gluten, no GMOs, no cholesterol, and half the saturated fat of an 80/20 beef burger. However, it contains five times as much sodium as unseasoned hamburger meat and one dietician argued that the processing of the vegetarian ingredients could cause the loss of valuable nutrients.
In December 2017, a vegan alternative to pork sausage, Beyond Sausage, was announced. The three varieties of "sausage" (Bratwurst, Hot Italian, and Sweet Italian) were first sold for a one-day-only event at a Whole Foods Market in Boulder, Colorado and became nationally available to purchase in January 2018.
Mark Bittman, a food journalist with The New York Times, wrote that "you won't know the difference between that [Beyond Meat] and chicken. I didn't, at least, and this is the kind of thing I do for a living." In 2013, Bill Gates wrote, on his personal blog: "I couldn't tell the difference between Beyond Meat and real chicken". and Alton Brown wrote that Beyond Meat's Beyond Chicken, is "more like meat than anything I've ever seen that wasn't meat", and "while the unflavored product tastes distinctly vegetal and still has a bit of what I’d call tofu-bounce, a hint of the spongy, the tear is meaty".
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Media related to Beyond Meat at Wikimedia Commons