Plant-based food tech startup Beyond Meat has pledged to 'transform the meat section' with its products.
Executive Chairman Seth Goldman made the comments recently at the Seeds & Chips conference in Milan, a summit on global food innovations.
Speaking about the meat alternative sector, Goldman said: "My family has been vegetarian for 13 years, and we have consistently been dissatisfied with the taste of veggie burgers...If the meat industry had a conspiracy to discourage people from becoming vegetarian, the veggie burger would be the perfect strategy because you try it once, and decide you really don't need to become a vegetarian that badly."
According to Goldman, there are many 'loyal and devout' followers of vegan and vegetarian diets who are 'willing to make the sacrifice' when it comes to food - but many others will not.
"There's an opportunity here," he said, talking about the alternative protein market. He joined Beyond Meat soon after this realization.
According to Goldman, on deciding that meat-alternative products were inferior in eating experience to their meaty counterparts, the company did an MRI on a burger 'to understand at a molecular level' what a hamburger is - and how to redefine it.
Beyond Meat Executive Chairman Seth Goldman talks about changing the food industry
The MRI yielded useful information, according to Goldman, who said: "There's not a magical ingredient in meat that we can't source in the plant kingdom. What's unique about meat is the way it's structured."
By replicating the way fats, water, and amino acids are combined in animal meat, Goldman says they have created a product so close to meat that consumers have responded in 'a very different way'.
This could be thanks in part to the way the product is marketed. "We have chosen to work with retailers to merchandize the product not in the freezer section, but to merchanidize them in the meat section," said Goldman.
He added: "Our belief is that we will transform the meat section into the protein section... so it's cow protein, chicken protein, and plant-based protein.
"And the results have been phenomenal - we have launched this in the two largest retailers in the United States, and in several regions the Beyond Burger is the top-selling packaged burger in the meat section.
'Not the top-selling plant-based burger...the top selling burger. And that's transformational."
PBN interviews Beyond Meat Founder and CEO Ethan Brown. Subscribe to PBN's YouTube Channel here
The company has major plans for global expansion, starting this Summer. The announcement follows an interview with Plant Based News, in which the company's Founder and CEO Ethan Brown revealed that he is in talks with a number of UK retailers regarding the flagship Beyond Burger.
According to a statement by Beyond Meat Founder and CEO Ethan Brown: "Reflecting rapid demand growth in the United States and sustained interest from international markets, we've taken steps to significantly increase our production capacity."
The company has partnered with a select group of distributors to enter over 50 countries including Germany and the rest of Europe, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Chile, Israel, UAE, Korea, Taiwan and South Africa.
Maria is the head of written content for Plant Based News. Also a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer. Her writing has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.
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