Beyond Meat unveils the Beyond Burger 3.0 with likeability scoring ‘on-par with 80/20 ground beef burgers’

By Elaine Watson contact

- Last updated on GMT

The new packaging highlights the 'meatier taste' and the brand's Non GMO credentials (picture credit: Beyond Meat)
The new packaging highlights the 'meatier taste' and the brand's Non GMO credentials (picture credit: Beyond Meat)

Related tags: Beyond meat, beyond burger, plant-based meat

The next iteration of the Beyond Burger - featuring 35% less saturated fat and 75% more iron than 80/20 beef burgers, a comparable level of B vitamins, and a meatier flavor – will hit grocery stores next week and restaurants in June, with a leaner version to follow later this year featuring 55% less saturated fat.

The burger – which will be sold in a 2-pack, a new value 4-pack (MSRP: $9.99), and a 1lb. Beyond Beef pack – is the third major iteration of Beyond Meat’s flagship product, and reflects the company’s work on “understanding beef flavor at a deeper level​,” said chief innovation officer Dariush Ajami.

“Extensive testing with our consumers validated this new flavor direction with likeability scoring on-par with 80/20 ground beef burgers.”

The latest burger -​ which contains no mung bean protein - ​has the same level of saturated fat (5g) and protein (20g) as the previous Beyond Burger (by comparison the Impossible Burger has 8g sat fat), but less overall fat (14g instead of 18g) and fewer calories (230 vs 260). It also has an “enhanced meaty flavor."

It has 75% more iron than 80:20 beef and 35% less fat.​

Ingredients list, Beyond Burger v3:​ Water, pea protein, expeller-pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, rice protein, natural flavors, dried yeast, cocoa butter, methylcellulose, and less than 1% of potato starch, salt, potassium chloride, beet juice color, apple extract, pomegranate concentrate, sunflower lecithin, vinegar, lemon juice concentrate, vitamins and minerals (zinc sulfate, niacinamide [vitamin B3], pyridoxine hydrochloride [vitamin B6], cyanocobalamin [vitamin B12], calcium pantothenate)

  • Beyond Burger​​​​ (4oz)  20g protein, 5g sat fat, 2g fiber, 350mg sodium, 230 calories. Key ingredient: Pea protein 
  • Impossible Burger​​​​ ​(4oz):​​​ 19g protein, 8g sat fat, 3g fiber, 370mg sodium, 240 calories. Key ingredient: Soy protein concentrate
  • McDonald’s Quarter Pounder 100% Beef Patty​​​​​: ​​​20g protein, 18g fat, 8g sat fat, 0g fiber, 190mg sodium, 240 calories. Key ingredient: Beef
  • (Smithfield) ​Pure Farmland Burger​​ (4oz - latest version):​​​ 16g protein, 7g sat fat, 3g fiber, 430mg sodium, 220 calories. Key ingredient: Soy protein concentrate
  • Nestlé’s Sweet Earth Awesome Burger​​​ (4oz - latest version):​​​ 25g protein, 8g sat fat, 2g fiber, 360mg sodium, 280 calories. Key ingredient: Textured pea protein

‘A more animalic umami taste…’

Speaking on a recent earnings call, Beyond Meat co-founder and CEO Ethan Brown said consumers expected plant-based meat to be healthier: "When people grab a plant-based burger, they are making an assumption in their mind that this is going to be healthier, and we need to be true to that."​​

The company has also made improvements to the process that improve the sensory experience, he said: "There's a more animalic umami taste, and ... the second area is .... finding ways to distribute fat within the product."

A spokesperson added: "In the new Beyond Burger platform we developed enhanced flavors that provide more savory, meaty flavors reminiscent of 80/20 ground beef.  Extensive testing with our consumers validated this flavor direction that we are excited to share."

'Our meatiest, juiciest burger yet'

Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA this morning, the company said: "The new Beyond Burger is our meatiest, juiciest burger yet and features advances in mouthwatering taste with even stronger nutritional wins.  We have always said that our commitment to rapid and relentless innovation means that we’ll continue innovating and renovating our products until they are completely indistinguishable from their animal protein equivalents while being better for human health and the environment.

"We know that health is a key driver to the plant-based meat category and we feel a deep obligation to deliver upon that expectation by offering the most delicious, nutritious and sustainable products possible. It is relatively easy to add more fat to make foods more delicious, the real challenge is to make products taste better while simultaneously making them better for you."

The new Beyond Burger has:

  • More protein than 80/20 ground beef  (20g vs. 19g)
  • 35% less total fat than 80/20 ground beef (14g vs. 23g)
  • 35% less saturated fat than 80/20 ground beef (5g vs. 9g)
  • Fewer calories and no cholesterol compared to 80/20 ground beef (230 vs. 287)
  • B vitamins and minerals comparable to the micronutrient profile of beef (equal Vitamin B6 and Niacin, and 75% more iron) 

Beyond Meat posted a modest 3.5% increase in net revenues to $101.9m in the fourth quarter, with solid growth in retail (from around 62,000 stores) dented by double-digit declines in foodservice (from around 60,000 outlets).

In the full year (ended Dec 31, 2020), it posted a 36.6% rise in net revenues to $406.8m, and a $52.8m net loss.

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