Where's Da Beef? The Meatless 'Beyond Meat' Burger

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Safeway hasn't been a stand-alone supermarket chain since its acquisition by former rival Albertson's in 2015, but its buyers are still looking for original merchandise to bring in shoppers. The latest, according to Bloomberg, is a line of vegan patties from a company called Beyond Meat.

If this sounds like something you'd expect at Whole Foods, you're right. That's where the company launched Beyond Meat an alternative to chicken, while garnering investor support from the likes of Bill Gates, General Mills and Tyson Foods.

Ethan Brown, the 45-year-old founder and chief executive officer of Beyond Meat said, "We assume that an animal has to be used for meat, and that's just false."

The Beyond Burger, the product going into Safeway stores in California, Hawaii and Nevada, is made from pea protein, as are the other items in the company lineup. But the Beyond Burger will be sold out of the meat case, not in vegetarian Siberia. Two quarter-pound patties will be wrapped in a $5.99 package, a significant premium over other ground meat.

"At Beyond Meat, we started with simple questions. Why do you need an animal to create meat?" says the company's website. "Why can't you build meat directly from plants? It turns out you can. So we did."

In addition to the "beef" burgers and sliders, Beyond Meat offers "crumbled beef" products (for tacos and such) and a line of "chicken" strips.

The field of "alternative" meats is getting crowded, with longtime suppliers like Boca Burger and Field Roast, as well as newcomers like Impossible Foods. Industry observers say that shoppers are increasingly on the lookout for healthy alternatives to meat, including abstinence; as many as a third of American households are practicing some form of what's known as Meatless Mondays.

One of the things that makes the Beyond Burger appealing, according to the company, is that it "cooks" like a beef patty. It sizzles, it oozes. And sizzle, we know, is what sells.

This post first appeared on Forbes.com

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This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on May 31, 2017 4:30 PM.

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