Vegans and meat-eaters alike, take note: Beyond Meat said Tuesday, March 5, that its Beyond Beef plant-based meat substitute will be in stores by the end of the year. The product aims to replace traditional meat by offering a product that looks, tastes, feels, and smells just like ground beef.
That’s been an issue for the traditional veggie burger which is a popular choice among vegetarians but is not as popular among those who choose to eat meat. It just doesn’t taste as good, but Beyond Meat is aiming to change that stigma by offering more meat-like alternatives.
Beyond Meat is produced with a blend of pea, mung bean, and rice proteins that offers similar nutritional value with just a quarter of the fat. It actually has more protein than traditional beef; the company says a single serving contains 20 grams. For those concerned with what’s in their food, Beyond Meat says its ground beef substitute contains “no antibiotics, hormones, soy, gluten or genetically modified organisms.”
“We’ve long had our eye on creating a product that enables consumers to enjoy all the benefits and versatility of ground beef while tapping into the human health, environmental, and animal welfare benefits of plant-based foods,” Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown says.
The introduction continues an aggressive growth strategy by the company as the demand for alternative foods increases. By the end of 2018, Beyond Meat’s products were available at 35,000 locations worldwide, and the company had completed construction of a new 26,000-square foot lab in El Segundo, California to continue research on new plant-based food substitutes. Beyond Beef is one of the first “innovations” to come out of this lab.
The company’s moves are a good indication of the increasing innovation and competition in the space. Its chief competitor, Impossible Foods, showed off a burger at CES 2019 that those that have tried say tastes very close to a real burger. There the company relied on a plant-based method to create heme, which is what makes meat taste like meat.
Other companies like Nestle plan other plant-based burger products, while another company, Aleph Foods, claims to have created the world’s first cell-grown minute steak. From the looks of it, 2019 could be a very busy year in the alternative foods space.