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Beyond Meat has debuted its brand new version of the Beyond Burger, which is a healthier plant-based patty featuring “impressive advancements in taste and nutrition”. Landing in retail stores in the U.S. nationwide in May, the third iteration of the Beyond Burger contains less fat and fewer calories, while still rivalling vitamin content and flavour compared to conventional 80/20 ground beef.
Beyond Meat has released on Tuesday (April 27) the newest version of its famous plant-based Beyond Burger, which it describes as the “meatiest, juiciest burger yet” that brings “even stronger nutritional wins”. Arriving in major grocery chains nationwide in the U.S. from May 3, the new patties will be sold in a 2-pack, 1-pound Beyond Beef package, as well as the brand’s first-ever value 4-pack, which will be available for US$$9.99.
According to the startup, the patties deliver a better sensory experience, with its consumer testing validating the likeability of the new flavour profile with a score “on-par” with 80/20 beef burgers. In addition, the Beyond Burger 3.0 contains 35% less fat, 35% less saturated fat, fewer calories and no cholesterol compared to 80/20 ground beef, and contains B vitamins and minerals matching the micronutrient content of its animal-based counterpart.
“We are continuously working on understanding beef flavour at a deeper level to ensure our plant-based beef platform delivers a delicious and satisfying sensory experience,” commented Beyond Meat chief innovation officer Dariush Ajami.
We are continuously working on understanding beef flavour at a deeper level to ensure our plant-based beef platform delivers a delicious and satisfying sensory experience.Dariush Ajami, Chief Innovation Officer, Beyond Meat
“The new Beyond Burger’s rich flavour profile resembles that of ground beef, and extensive testing with our consumers validated this new flavour direction.”
Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown added that the new product launch is “another strong step forward in providing consumers with absolutely delicious plant-based meat that is better for people and the planet, no sacrifice required.”
The brand first teased the new Beyond Burger iteration in November 2020. At the time, the company’s head of communications Shira Zackai revealed that the latest patty will have a slight change in ingredients, removing mung bean from the formulation. The patties are now made from non-GMO plant protein sourced from a “blend of peas and rice”.
“It is my hope that these meaningful advances in taste and nutrition, using only non-GMO plant-based ingredients, will delight existing consumers,” said CEO Brown in his latest statement.
Beyond Meat says that the launch will also be accompanied by mobile pop-ups in select cities across the U.S. to allow fans to “get a sneak peek” of the new burger before it enters the retail market. Taking place from May 1-2, visitors to one of six pop-ups located in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami and New York City will be able to taste the vegan-friendly burger for free.
After the retail roll-out, Beyond Meat says it will introduce the 3.0 formulation to foodservice partners in the U.S. in June, followed by the launch of its anticipated second Beyond Burger patty option, which will contain half the saturated fat of 80/20 beef.
The launch of the latest Beyond Burger iteration is another strong step forward in providing consumers with absolutely delicious plant-based meat that is better for people and the planet, no sacrifice required.Ethan Brown, Founder & CEO, Beyond Meat
Currently, Beyond Meat sells its products across 28,000 retail locations in the U.S., including Walmart, Kroger, CVS and Costco, and has established a footprint in more than 80 countries worldwide. It is unclear when the new iteration of Beyond Burgers will be released in its international markets, but the latest opening of its manufacturing facility in China suggests that the timeline won’t be far off for Asian consumers.
The decision to launch a healthier patty with a lower fat and calorie content comes as consumer awareness of health and nutrition reaches new heights amid the coronavirus pandemic, as well as concerns over the impact of rising global obesity rates fuelling chronic illnesses.
As the alternative protein landscape matures, shoppers have also become increasingly savvy in detecting ingredient lists, and are increasingly demanding cleaner labels from brands in the plant-based meat space.
A number of plant-based players have already presented health-focused offerings in response to consumer trends, among them Longève, a Los Angeles startup who recently launched a line of vegan shelf-stable pea protein beef crumbles and Aussie food tech Deliciou’s range of non-GMO, soy, salt and sugar-free meat alternatives.
Barcelona-based Heura has also reformulated its plant-based burger, which it describes as the healthiest in the world, containing 64.25% less fat compared to traditional beef burgers, 85.6% less saturated fat than conventional beef, and 11.3% more protein per calorie.
All images courtesy of Beyond Meat.