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Leon Kaye headshot

Coming Soon: Plant-Based Burgers and Chicken 2.0

Beyond Meat will soon roll out what it calls its new 3.0 recipe for its plant-based burgers - and apparently the company's fake chicken could reemerge, too.
By Leon Kaye
Plant-Based Burgers

All right, so technically no one is using the 2.0 cliché for new fake meat options, but for fans of plant-based burgers and other fake meats, there’s some good news on the horizon.

As announced on April 27, Beyond Meat will be rolling out what it calls its new 3.0 recipe for its plant-based burgers at stores; and over the weekend at six pop-up stores in large cities across the U.S., folks had the chance to sample the new recipe.

According to the company, these plant-based burgers will have 35 percent less fat and saturated fat than the conventional 80/20 ground beef found at supermarkets. That’s good news for omnivores who enjoy a decadent burger from time to time (or many a time) but might be concerned about these products’ saturated fat content.

While few would quibble with Beyond Meat’s claims that its environmental footprint is far lighter than that of conventional beef, the impact on human health is a different story, depending on which nutritionist you talk to. While Beyond Meat and its competitors’ plant-based burgers were created less for vegetarians and vegans and more for consumers who eat meat but don’t dig its carbon footprint or cringe over animal welfare concerns, there is still that health concern: One of the burgers’ ingredients, coconut oil, is of concern to those who are monitoring their saturated fat intake or want to avoid a lecture from their doctor.

As for those who seek that punch of protein, the new patties will be a fine option for the grill or skillet; Beyond Meat said the new plant-based burgers’ nutritional profile will be similar to that of conventional beef, so if you’re worried about getting enough B-vitamins or minerals like iron, you’ll be set.

With this news, it’s clear the company refuses to stay complacent and that the Beyond Burger is here to stay. The company’s products are far easier to find than when its plant-based burgers were first launched five years ago – more fast food chains include a plant-based burger or taco option, and even some CVS stores carry the product in case someone needs a last-minute addition for that skillet meal or barbecue.

But Beyond Meat isn’t only bullish on fake beef. As announced on news sites including Bloomberg, its pea-based fake chicken product, which landed the company on the map almost a decade ago, is coming back, though assumedly with a slightly different ingredient profile. Once readily available in the cold case in then the freezer section of supermarkets, the packages of what appeared to look like shredded chicken were discontinued two years ago. That turn of events was a setback for the likes who appreciated how well they tasted in a fake fajitas or stir-fry dish. It was also the foundation of a scrumptious alternative Sonoma chicken salad available at many Whole Foods’ deli sections, the taste of which was to die for – a feeling that also ensued as its price was $13 to $14 dollars a pound. No official announcement has been made yet, but for sure the company’s investors will respond in kind if and when these new products roll out.

Image credit: Beyond Meat

Leon Kaye headshot

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.

Read more stories by Leon Kaye