Just in time for July 4th, the fake meat trailblazer Beyond Meat has landed its Beyond Burger on the menu of a popular nationwide chain. Beginning Monday, the vegan beef doppelgänger, made of pea protein, coconut oil, beets and potato starch, will make its debut at eight of BurgerFi’s 101 locations. Both companies say the Beyond Burger will roll out nationwide at the Florida-based chain by the end of this summer. Customers will be able to order the Beyond Burger on BurgerFi’s on the company’s signature stamped bun, or served as a lettuce wrap.
Becoming a supplier of BurgerFi is a big win for Beyond Meat and its co-founder and oft-spokesperson Ethan Brown, which together first made a splash five years ago when its imitation chicken strips appeared in the cold case as many Whole Foods locations. The company has since launched a faux ground burger product, along with the Beyond Burger, which is sold at selected Whole Foods butcher counters; in May, Safeway announced the product would be sold at hundreds of its stores. Last year, Beyond Meat went even further mainstream after Tyson Foods invested in the company.
It has not always been smooth sailing for Brown and Beyond Meat, as their knocks on the doors of fast food companies often went unanswered. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Brown explained that his attempt to build a trade show stand similar in appearance to an In-N-Out restaurant earned him a cease-and-desist letter from the California burger chain.
Beyond Meat can now join one of its top competitors, Impossible Foods, as they conquer the fast food market. Impossible Foods’ “Bloody Burger” hit the New York food scene last year, and has since made more appearances at restaurants nationwide.
So start saying good-bye to the dull, granular or rubbery veggie burgers of yesterday. Consumers increasingly desire high-protein options, but not necessarily at the cost of cardiovascular health or animal welfare. Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods prove that vegetarian grub does not have to sacrifice taste, and unlike the global meat industry, does not carry the baggage of a deforestation and a massive carbon footprint.
Image credit: Beyond Meat
Leon Kaye has written for 3p since 2010 and become executive editor in 2018. His previous work includes writing for the Guardian as well as other online and print publications. In addition, he's worked in sales executive roles within technology and financial research companies, as well as for a public relations firm, for which he consulted with one of the globe’s leading sustainability initiatives. Currently living in Central California, he’s traveled to 70-plus countries and has lived and worked in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.
Leon’s an alum of Fresno State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California's Marshall Business School. He enjoys traveling abroad as well as exploring California’s Central Coast and the Sierra Nevadas.