CHICAGO — Beyond Meat, the maker of the plant-based Beyond Burger, unveiled its latest innovation at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show held May 19-22 in Chicago. Beyond Breakfast Sausage features a blend of pea, mung bean, rice and sunflower protein, with flavor notes of sage and nutmeg. The product looks, cooks and tastes like traditional pork sausage and contains twice as much protein, said Allison Aronoff, communications manager for El Segundo, Calif.-based Beyond Meat.
“When we build a new product, whether it’s Beyond Sausage or Beyond Breakfast Sausage, we’re not just taking our burger and shoving it inside a casing,” Ms. Aronoff told Food Business News in an interview at the N.R.A. Show. “We’re really building each new product from the ground up.”
Beyond Meat braids and binds plant-based proteins, fats and minerals to create a structure akin to that of beef or pork. The company uses no gluten, soy or bioengineered ingredients in its products.
“We know there are rising consumer concerns around those ingredients,” Ms. Aronoff said. “We really want to make this as low of a barrier to entry as possible by using consumer-friendly ingredients and having great tasting products.”
The company, which last year launched Beyond Sausage featuring pea, fava bean and rice protein, recently broke ground on a 26,000-square-foot research and development center, which will house more than 100 scientists, engineers, food technologists, chefs and researchers.
"A carnivore doesn’t want to buy their protein right next to the ice cream. They want to buy it in the sexy butcher case where they’re used to buying their protein." — Allison Aronoff, Beyond Meat
“We are doubling down on our approach to R.&D. and our innovation pipeline,” Ms. Aronoff said. “We have a lot of exciting announcements coming out this year that just really reinforce that we’re the key player in this space, and we’re going to continue to show up and surprise you and delight you.”
The brand is sold in more than 25,000 grocery stores and restaurants. The company recently announced aggressive expansion plans, partnering with distributors across the globe to enter more than 50 countries in six continents this year.
“If we really want to tackle the issues of human health and the environment, we really have to go after the people who are eating meat, which are carnivores,” Ms. Aronoff said. “We love our vegan and vegetarian fan base, but we’re trying to appeal to the carnivores, which is why we’re making products that look, cook and taste just like meat. That’s why we’re selling in the meat case because a carnivore doesn’t want to buy their protein right next to the ice cream. They want to buy it in the sexy butcher case where they’re used to buying their protein. We’ve seen a lot of success in our placement there and believe it was the right strategy.”