The fake meat wars are heating up: Just a few days after Impossible Foods got embroiled in a headline-making snafu, the company’s rival, Beyond Meat, announces a new type of fake meat patty that is purportedly even more like real ground-up animal flesh than its previous version. The Southern California-based company promises that this new fake meat has a marbling effect when cooked, thanks to the addition of cocoa butter and coconut oil. The inclusion of apple extract apparently makes the patty turn from red to brown once heat is applied. Now that the recipe includes mung beans and rice, the new Beyond Meat patty supposedly contains more protein than the old one.
The announcement about the tweaked patty comes just five weeks after Beyond Meat surprised everyone on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley when its stock doubled in value on the first day of public trading. According to CNN, the stock is now trading “at about seven times its IPO price of $25.” Beyond Meat products are being served at chains like Del Taco, Carl’s Jr., and TGI Friday’s, and the burger patties are also available at Whole Foods, Kroger, and Target — approximately 35,000 outlets, total. The new faux-beefier patties will start rolling out this week at select retailers, and should be available nationwide by the end of the month.
During an appearance on CNN this week, t-shirt-wearing Beyond Meat president and CEO Ethan Brown used an impressive amount of tech jargon to tout the health of his company. “First and foremost, our company is an innovation engine,” Brown said. “And that’s what I focus on the most — it’s that process of invention, innovation, and commercialization. We have ambitions to be this global protein company. And so to be producing in Europe, to be producing in Asia, those are things we’re going to be pursuing in the next several years.”
Despite the company’s recent success, Beyond Meat still faces stiff competition from Silicon Valley-based Impossible Foods, a $2 billion brand that also recently retooled its burger patty. The new meat substitute is so popular that restaurants are scrambling to keep the Impossible Foods product in stock. Because Impossible only sells its fake beef to restaurants, Beyond Meat has a slight edge on the competition since it can partner with grocery stores in addition to dining establishments. And as the faux-beef wars continue to rage on, both companies must now confront a new problem: restaurants passing off their real-meat as fake-meat products, as a Brooklyn outpost of Burger King did last week.
Stay tuned for all updates on the battle for the fake-meat throne as they become available.
• Beyond Meat introduces new, meatier burger patty [CNN]
• Fake Meat Is Here to Stay, So Stop Treating It Like a Gimmick [E]
• Brooklyn Burger King Delivered Beef Whoppers to Customers Expecting ‘Impossible’ [ENY]
• Beyond Meat is going public. Meat alternatives are going mainstream. [Vox]
• There’s a new meatless Beyond Burger. It tastes even more like meat. [Vox]