Beyond Meat is a Los Angeles-based producer of plant-based meat substitutes founded in 2009 by Ethan Brown. The company's products became available across the United States in 2013.  In May 2016, it released the first plant-based burger to be sold in the meat section of grocery stores, on an international basis. The company has products designed to replace chicken meat, beef, and pork sausage.
|Traded as||NASDAQ: BYND|
|Revenue||US$33 million (2017)|
The company was founded as a California-based startup by Ethan Brown in 2009. The company has received venture funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Obvious Corporation, Bill Gates, Biz Stone, the Humane Society and Tyson Foods. The company began selling its chicken-free mock chicken products in Whole Foods supermarkets across the US in April 2013. In 2014 it developed a Beef product.
In June 2018, the company opened its second production facility in Columbia, Missouri, resulting in a three-fold increase of the company's manufacturing space. The company also claimed to have 27,000 different points of distribution for their products in the United States. In July, the company was rolling out their products to 50 international markets, partnering with Tesco in the UK and A&W in Canada.
In March 2019, Don Lee Farms filed a civil suit against Beyond Meat. Don Lee alleges breach of contract, and further charges the company with problems "regarding inadequate food safety protocols."
In Canada, cattle producers have registered a complaint with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), stating that Beyond Meat has no right to advertise their product as "plant-based meat." Because, the term meat is "reserved" for animal products and it doesn't apply to vegan products. The CFIA defines meat as "carcass derived from an animal." The North American Meat Institute, which represents meat makers also have voiced the same concern with the statement "A beef patty is one natural ingredient: beef."
The company develops and manufactures a variety of plant protein-based food products. The vegan meat substitutes are made from mixtures of pea protein isolates, rice protein, mung bean protein, coconut oil, and other ingredients like potato starch, apple extract, sunflower lecithin, pomegranate powder, etc. with a range of vitamins and minerals. The ingredients are mixed and fed into a food extrusion machine that cooks the mixture while forcing it through a specially designed mechanism that uses steam, pressure, and cold water to form the product's chicken-like texture. However, an obesity expert at the University of Ottawa cautions the public to not be fooled into thinking that these are a nutritionally-healthier alternative, as the saturated fat content is similar to beef burgers and they contain higher sodium levels.
As of 2014[update], the company's product offerings consisted of Beyond Chicken and Beyond Beef. The company's two flavors of imitation ground beef product are made from pea proteins, canola oil, and various seasonings.
The company announced in 2014 that it had begun development and testing of a new product called The Beast. The vegetable protein-based burger patties were taste tested by The New York Mets during a pregame event.  The vegan and soy-free burger patty The Beast was released in February 2015.
The Beast Burger was officially promoted as vegan burgers, soy-free, and contain 23 grams of protein in addition to antioxidants, iron, calcium, Vitamins B6, B12 & D, Potassium, DHA Omega-3s, and ALA Omega-3s
In May 2016, the company released the first plant-based burger to be sold alongside beef, poultry and pork in the meat section of the grocery store.
The burger contains 20 grams of protein and has no soy, no gluten, no cholesterol, and half the saturated fat of an 80/20 beef burger. However, it contains five times as much sodium as unseasoned hamburger meat.
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