Beyond Meat products are now in 5,000+ stores

It’s a burger Jim, but not as we know it… Beyond Meat prepares to unleash The Beast

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

 The Beast: 'A nutritional powerhouse that completely breaks the current ‘veggie burger’ stereotype'
The Beast: 'A nutritional powerhouse that completely breaks the current ‘veggie burger’ stereotype'
Beyond Meat - the California-based firm that claims to have unlocked the secret to making ‘near-perfect’ replicas of meat from plants - is preparing to launch its latest innovation: The Beast, a pea-protein-based burger for meat-lovers.

The Beast - which will hit the market later this year - is based on the firm’s Beyond Beef ‘beefy crumbles’ (which are made from non-GMO pea protein isolate) and is soy- and gluten-free, says VP marketing, Bob Connolly.

Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA as the firm’s Beyond Beef and Beyond Chicken lightly seasoned strips (made from soy protein) started rolling out to Target stores nationwide, Connolly said The Beast​ would completely redefine how people see ‘veggie’ burgers.

“It's a delicious nutritional powerhouse that completely breaks the current ‘veggie burger’ stereotype. It's a burger with more protein and iron than beef, more omegas than salmon and it's packed with antioxidants, calcium and vitamins B6 and B12.

“We worked closely with a leading Ironman and ultra-marathon professional to pack the Beast with as much functionality as possible while still maintaining the 'fresh off the grill' taste you expect from a burger.”

It completely breaks the current ‘veggie burger’ stereotype

The omega-3s come from flaxseed oil, chia (short-chain omega-3s) and DHA algal oil (long-chain omega-3s), while the burger also contains beet juice, moringa, sea buckthorn, mesquite, bottlebrush herb and fulvic acid.

But it’s not going to be marketed as a ‘beef-free’ burger, says Connolly, who says the whole point of Beyond Meat is to move away from the notion that something is ‘missing’, or that eating products that don’t contain meat means compromising on taste or texture.

“Shipping now is our new packaging reflecting our shift from ‘Free’ to ‘Beyond’ to reflect the idea that we've truly left the animal version of our product behind. Why eat ground beef when you can go Beyond Beef with the same taste and texture with all the protein and half the fat?”

We're in over 5,000 retail outlets today

Beyond Beef and Beyond Chicken products are now available in more than 5,000 stores including Publix, Safeway, HEB, Target, and Whole Foods, says Connolly, while talks are also progressing with several foodservice operators.

Beyond Beef beefy crumble

We’re rolling out now in over 1,200 Target stores, including all of their Super Target formats. The Super Target stores will carry four items, two items of both Beyond Beef and Beyond Chicken and the remaining Target locations will carry one Beef and one Chicken.

“We're in over 5,000 retail outlets today with plans to expand not only our distribution footprint but our product assortment as well.  

“Things are progressing really well in foodservice. We're in conversations with a number of commercial and non-commercial operators to offer both our existing product line and potentially some exciting new custom items.”

A seamless experience for carnivores

Beyond Meat - co-founded by entrepreneurs Ethan Brown and Brent Taylor - launched its first products on the national stage in 2013,  and has secured financial backing from VC legend Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (which backed Amazon and Google - before everyone else did), and The Obvious Corporation (an investment vehicle created by the founders of Twitter).

Beyond chicken
Beyond Chicken products are made from non-GMO pea and soy protein isolates, plus soy and carrot fiber, yeast extract, amaranth and non-GMO expeller pressed canola oil

Based in El Segundo, California, with a manufacturing facility in Columbia, Missouri, the firm has the license to use a patented process​ to make meat-replicas developed by Fu-Hung Hsieh and Harold Huff at the University of Missouri.

While meat replacers have been around for years, says the company, they haven’t taken the world by storm - yet - in part because most meat analogs just don’t taste like meat.

The problem is the spongy structure (not fibrous like meat), poor flavor retention and poor moisture retention, which means meat-lovers try them once, and don’t buy them again, claims Brown, who promises to deliver “a seamless experience for carnivores, like shifting from one meat to another ​[that just happens to be made from plants].”

 “For consumers, there’s no downside, it’s healthier, it taste great and it’s much more sustainable.”

Click HERE​ to read our recent interview with Beyond Meat.     

Beyond Meat beef Crumbles in recipe

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Posted by old.frt,

This stuff sounds dreadful

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Great news!

Posted by Jennifer,

I would like something that is healthier than meat. We are moving on food-tech wise, kind of like progressing from the horse and cart era to a renewable-energy powered car. Can't wait to try this and check the flavour & texture. We holding our breath BM :)

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Posted by leelee,

I'm all for improving analogs, but the statement of "real meat" on the label is a turnoff to me. It would make me think it was actually made of meat or of cloned cells of animals (another turnoff), and I would probably walk right past it in the store on my way to the Boca Burgers.

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