Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 8

The plant protein pioneer

A

when Kellogg Co. acquired the brand in 1999.)
t Beyond Meat's Southern California innovation cenProduct development at Beyond Meat is driven by four
ter, dubbed the Manhattan Beach Project, a group of
core concerns: human health; animal welfare; use of land,
scientists, engineers, food technologists, chefs and
water and energy; and climate change.
researchers experiment with hundreds of plant-based raw
"More and more people are beginning to link livestock
materials and formulations to continuously improve and
and climate as an issue the way we did maybe 20 years ago
develop the meatiest plant foods possible.
with automotive and climate," Mr. Brown said. "You look to
"We have three platforms: beef, pork and poultry,"
natural resources, whether it's land, energy or water, you see
said Ethan Brown, founder and chief executive officer of
more and more consumers drawing connections between
Beyond Meat. "Within those three platforms we continue
livestock and natural resources."
to innovate around four things: flavor, aroma, appearance
Compared to a ΒΌ-lb beef burger, a Beyond Burger
and texture. And we keep trying year after year, quarter after
requires 99% less water, 93% less land, 46% less energy and
quarter, to close the gaps between animal protein and our
generates 90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, according
products with respect to those four characteristics."
to University of Michigan research.
Beyond Meat was established just over a decade ago
Beyond Meat is the product of more than a decade's
on the transformative idea "you don't need an animal to
work by Fu-Hung Hsieh, Ph.D., and his team of scientists at
produce a piece of meat," Mr. Brown said. Soy burgers and
the University of Missouri in Columbia. In 2009, Mr. Brown
similar alternatives had existed in the marketplace for
began working with Dr. Hsieh to commercialize the product.
decades, but Mr. Brown, formerly an executive at a fuel-cell
"I think maybe the biggest insight we brought to the
company, wanted to produce a plant-based patty that looked,
sector is that you can take technology and marry that with
cooked and tasted like beef.
all-natural ingredients to build a piece of meat directly from
"For us, meat is not a mystery," Mr. Brown said. "It's
plants," Mr. Brown said. "It's not about creating something
these five things at a very high level: amino acids, lipids, trace
that has artificial ingredients or G.M.O.s. We think that
minerals, vitamins and water. We can study those at a very
everything that you need to build a piece of meat from plants
granular level and instead of using the animal to put together
is being provided by nature already. And our job is not to
those five pieces, we can use materials directly from plants."
The Beyond Burger debuted in 2016 alongside conventional ground beef in the fresh meat case of supermarkets.
Today, the brand's products, including plant-based sausage
and beef-like crumbles, may be found in more than 58,000
retail and food service outlets globally.
Last spring, Beyond Meat rolled
out a new iteration of the Beyond
Burger, which was described as having
a "meatier" flavor and mouthfeel,
formulated with peas, mung beans
and rice. The release of the updated
recipe coincided with the company's
initial public offering, which raised
$241 million. Days before a secondary
public offering in August, Beyond
Meat's shares hit a record high of
$239.71, inflating the company's market capitalization to approximately
- Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat
$14.4 billion. (In mid-February, shares
of Beyond Meat hovered around $115).
"What really excites me the
most about the business is how much
consumers want this to work," Mr. Brown said. "People are
cheering for this to work. I think our job is to not let them
down. It's to continue to innovate so someday it will be
absolutely indistinguishable from animal protein."
U.S. retail sales of Beyond Meat products rose to $75
million over the 52 weeks ended Oct. 6, 2019, marking a
135% increase from the previous 52-week period, according
to Information Resources, Inc.
The increase gave Beyond Meat a 10% market share
of the U.S. plant-based meat substitutes market, behind
MorningStar Farms and gardein. (In his early 20s, Mr. Brown
invested in MorningStar Farms and received a "good return"

8

Food Business News

COVER AND RIGHT: BEYOND MEAT

'What really excites
me the most about
the business is how
much consumers
want this to work.'

March 3, 2020



Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020

Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020
Commentary - Mind the gap
What's in store for retail?
The plant-based revolutionaries
The Amazon effect
News
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 2
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - Commentary - Mind the gap
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - What's in store for retail?
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 5
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - The plant-based revolutionaries
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 7
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 8
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 9
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 10
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 11
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 12
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 13
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - The Amazon effect
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 15
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 16
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 17
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - News
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 19
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 20
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