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Beyond Meat has filed a trademark application for “Beyond Milk”, an indication of its plans to enter the plant-based dairy industry in the future. According to the document filed to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the trademark will cover milkshakes, coffee and tea beverages with milk or milk substitutes.
Beyond Meat is gearing up to enter the fast-growing plant-based dairy sector, signalling its upcoming entry with a trademark application for “Beyond Milk” filed on August 12. While the company has not released any information about the product or timeline for launch, the document indicates that the patent will cover “bases for making milkshakes; coffee or tea beverages with milk or milk substitutes.”
The U.S. food tech giant’s plan to enter plant-based dairy comes amid surging sales for the vegan milk segment and broader dairy alternatives sector. Plant-based milk dominated U.S. retail sales last year, representing 35% of the vegan food retail market with a valuation of $2.5 billion after recording 20% growth in dollar sales over 2020.
Beyond has not made public any information on what ingredients it will be using to create its new line of plant-based dairy, but industry watchers are eyeing oats as a strong contender, with the oat milk market racing ahead with a tripling in sales last year. The most famous oat milk brand is Oatly, the Swedish brand that joined Beyond’s ranks as a publicly-traded plant-based food tech on Nasdaq just months ago.
According to data from the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA), almost 40% of all U.S. households now stock vegan milk in their fridge, with almond milk still remaining the top performer.
Beyond’s main rival, Impossible Foods, has also signalled its entry into the plant-based dairy space. In October last year, the company revealed its plan to double its R&D team in order to develop analogues for all animal products, with plant-based milk and fish named as key future products.
Established food giants like Danone are keen to capitalise on surging dairy-free demand, announcing that vegan dairy will be the core focus of its “2.0” plant-based platform.
Beyond’s portfolio expansion
While Beyond is best known for its alternative beef Beyond Burgers, it has made strides to expand its vegan product line-up as the industry continues to mature and competition heats up. It most recently launched Beyond Chicken Tenders, which rolled out across 400 restaurants across the U.S.
Other Beyond products include vegan sausage patties, bratwurst, beef crumbles and pork analogue designed specifically for the mainland Chinese market. It has additionally unveiled vegan pepperoni in partnership with QSR giant Pizza Hut, with founder Ethan Brown saying that it brings the firm one step closer to the “holy grail” of creating a plant-based bacon alternative.
Lead image courtesy of Beyond Meat.