Less than a year after Beyond Meat got its plant-based burgers on meat aisles of US supermarkets, the California-based start-up plans to triple production following a glut of funding.
The company confirmed this week that it had raised US$55m in funding from backers including the former CEO of McDonald’s, Don Thompson, and meatpacker Tyson Foods.
Capital will be used to more than triple Beyond Meat’s production and fund research and development to help scientists and food technologist explore new ways to make meat from plants.
“We see Beyond Meat as a strategic and compelling consumer-focused investment,” said Thompson, who financed the project through his venture capital firm Cleveland Avenue, LLC.
“Customer response to Beyond Meat’s great-tasting products has driven its growth, and we’re excited about our investment as the brand continues to innovate for the future.”
Long-term investors Jack and Suzy Welch said Beyond Meat “own the future”.
“They are second to none in this space in terms of building and scaling operations,” the couple added.
The revolutionary plant-based burger has enjoyed high-octane growth in 2017 and now can be found in over 5,000 grocery stores in the US.
Foodservice has grabbed a bite of the action too: nearly 4,000 hotels, restaurants, college campus dining halls and hospitals stock the pea-based burger that bleeds like rare beef.
TGI Friday’s is expected to roll-out the plant-based burger across its 469 restaurants in the US next year.