Beyond Meat Reformulates Beef Crumbles with New Flavour and Heart-Check Certification

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Continuing its health-centric marketing drive, Beyond Meat has reformulated its line of plant-based beef crumbles, which now come in three flavours and are certified as heart-healthy and suitable for diabetes prevention and management by health associations in the US.

It’s a big year for product revamps at Beyond Meat. Weeks after announcing its Beyond IV platform, which saw its signature burger and mince undergo a recipe change to become meatier and healthier, the frozen Beyond Crumbles are now getting a makeover.

The range now includes a third flavour in the form of Italian sausage crumbles, which will roll out in the summer, while the new versions of its existing original and feisty beef crumbles are entering supermarkets across the US now, with a bright yellow bar on the top of the packaging differentiating the new from the old.

The packaging of the bite-sized Beyond Crumbles now boasts important health certifications from the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Heart-Check Food Certification Program and the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Better Choices for Life Program, joining some of Beyond Meat’s other products on the list of these nutritionist-approved products, and extending its increased focus on consumer health.

“We continue to innovate across our product lines to deliver delicious taste and health benefits alike. For consumers who love the taste and versatility of beef, but want to reduce saturated fat and cholesterol in their diet, Beyond Crumbles offer a convenient, healthy protein for the center of the plate,” said Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown, who credited the health certifications to the products’ “strong nutritional profile” and “simple and clean ingredient list”.

Beyond Meat hones in on heart health and diabetes

beyond meat recipes
Courtesy: Beyond Meat

The news comes shortly after Beyond Meat posted better-than-expected Q4 results, despite an 18% decline in annual net revenue. The company had already been amping up its messaging around nutrition and health, having just announced the Beyond IV products a week earlier. This approach was first evident in a marketing drive in October, which highlighted the health credentials of its Beyond Steak.

The offering was certified as heart-healthy by the AHA, then the first plant-based meat product to boast that stamp. The Beyond Crumbles followed next – and the alt-meat giant wants to amplify that on-shelf, with the new packaging bearing the AHA Heart-Check mark.

The Heart-Check programme is a part of the AHA’s drive to fight heart disease and stroke – cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the US, killing one American every 33 seconds. Red and processed meats have been consistently linked with heart disease risks and, in the US, overconsumption of these products is a real problem.

The AHA’s certification provides customers with an easy, reliable way to identify healthy foods when perusing nutrition labels. For products to meet its requirements, they need to be low in saturated fat and sodium, and contain at least 10% of the daily recommended value of essential nutrients. Beyond Meat’s chief rival Impossible Foods has also recognised the importance of this – its Beef Lite product was launched with a Heart-Check last year, the only other meat analogue to carry the certification.

But red and processed meat products aren’t just associated with ill heart health – they’ve also been linked with higher risks of developing type 2 diabetes, a condition that plagues over 11% of Americans. This is why it was important for Beyond Meat to also get certified by the ADA’s Better Choices for Life initiative, which has established evidence-based guidelines to help consumers make informed choices about the foods they purchase.

Nutrition is a key part of diabetes treatment and prevention, with adequate protein consumption essential for both those with and without the condition. With more than a third of Americans having prediabetes – and over 80% of them not knowing that – consumer education and awareness about the foods they eat is vital, and the ADA suggests that plant-based proteins provide quality protein, healthy fats, and fibre.

How health is influencing plant-based meat consumption

is beyond meat healthy
Courtesy: Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat is stepping up its support of scientific research into a transition from animal to plant-based proteins. One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has reported the positive impacts on cardiovascular health by replacing conventional meat with Beyond Meat’s version over an eight-week period, including the improvement of several cardiovascular disease risk factors.

The company is backing other ongoing studies, like the Plant-Based Diet Initiative at Stanford University School of Medicine, and has a multi-year agreement with the American Cancer Society for increased research into plant-based meat and cancer prevention.

It’s doing so because consumers are largely conflicted about the health effects of plant-based meat. One survey from last year revealed that nutrition is the second-biggest reason (35%) deterring Americans from trying plant-based meat. Another poll – from the International Food Information Council (IFIC) – found that health was the main factor these consumers follow vegan or vegetarian diets.

But earlier this month, an analysis of annual IFIC surveys spanning 2012-22 suggested that 74% of Americans find plant proteins healthy, but only 39% feel the same for animal protein. But despite the consumption of plant-rich diets doubling over the years surveyed, this still stands at just 26%. At the same time, red meat intake has increased too.

A big reason for this is the rise in misinformation campaigns from meat industry interest groups over the years, which has borne apprehension about plant-based meats and their status as ultra-processed foods. This is something Brown touched upon during Beyond Meat’s Q4 earnings call last month, noting: “The current climate of misinformation and efforts by incumbents – including, sadly, pharmaceutical interests – to poison the plant-based meat well push us to accelerate gains in the health profile of our product platforms.”

He added: “We had to right the message. We can do that by yelling from the rooftops about the benefits of our existing products, or we can just try to make them even more healthy and unassailable.”

And with the new range of plant-based beef crumbles, that’s exactly what Beyond Meat is attempting to do.


  • Anay Mridul

    Anay is Green Queen's resident news reporter. Originally from India, he worked as a vegan food writer and editor in London, and is now travelling and reporting from across Asia. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, food tech, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford comma.

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