Alongside Impossible, Beyond Meat is carving out a new plant-based “meat” product category that’s wowed investors and confused grocers. Now, it sounds like Beyond is going, well, beyond to strengthen the case that its plant-based “meat” can’t be beat.
This week, Beyond announced the impending launch of a revamped “meatier” edition of the plant-based burger that’s taken the food world by storm. In addition to its existing pea-based patty blend, the latest iteration includes mung beans and rice for a formula that offers a full protein package containing all nine essential amino acids.
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Beyond its nutrient profile, other aesthetically minded changes aim to further shrink the distinction between plant-based and traditional ground beef. Coconut oil and cocoa butter will be used to approximate the texture of beef and give it some semblance of marbling. Finally, it’s designed to look like the real deal on the grill, too, given that a new apple extract will make this Beyond burger brown up as it cooks.
The news of a new patty formulation so soon after going public might seem odd to some, but not to Beyond’s CEO Ethan Brown. “It’s part of our philosophy and our approach to innovation that we’re going to be constantly iterating,” Brown told CNN Business, describing this latest effort as “a stop along [the] way” to perfect plant-based meat substitutes.
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The timing of the announcement is rather fortuitous, as far as the stock market is concerned. After the most successful initial public offering of 2019, investors have cooled on Beyond this week, pushing its price per share down to $135 from an earlier high of $170. With retail sales accounting for $19.6 million in Q1 revenue (about half of Beyond’s total business), the company is likely hoping that a more “lifelike” burger can boost that number with the number of players in the space soon to expand.
Beyond’s latest creation should be hitting store shelves in the next week or so, just in time for summer grilling season. Don’t be surprised if that burger you eat at your next cookout isn’t actually what it appears to be.
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