Why the future of meat is plant-based
Startup Beyond Meat has opened a new state of the art production facility in Los Angeles to meet growing demand plant-based foods.
The company opened the doors of its new 26,000 square foot research and development center at the company’s headquarters, located in El Segundo, Calif., a few minutes outside of Los Angeles. The new facility, which houses nearly 100 employees, is the new home to Beyond Meat’s Manhattan Beach Project, which is designed to bring together scientists, engineers, food technologists, chefs and managers to further develop plant-based meat products.
The company's flagship product - the Beyond Burger - is outselling meat burgers in some mainstream stores in California, as demand for the product grows.
“The new home to the Manhattan Beach Project allows us to reimagine the use of existing technologies for a better understanding of the complexity of meat,” said Dr. Dariush Ajami, VP of Research & Development at Beyond Meat. “The innovation center gives us a leg up as we apply this knowledge in our efforts to perfectly build meat directly from plant materials, using only natural ingredients and without genetic modification.”
The innovation center supports the company’s Rapid & Relentless Innovation initiative. The initiative's goal includes to continuously iterate the company’s products until they are indistinguishable from their animal protein equivalent. The new facility is designed to support the company’s highly iterative and rapid style of innovation, one designed to deliver improvements to the marketplace on an annual basis.
The Beyond Meat brand produces plant-based burgers and a new sausage, called Beyond Sausage, as well as other plant-based options. A huge piece of the puzzle to their continuously growing success is an increase in consumer demand for sustainability. This demand has been recognized by celebrities and high profile investors, such as Bill Gates, who has invested in the Beyond Meat company. Other retail companies, such as Starbucks, have initiated focus on sustainability projects, including the elimination of plastic within their products.
The continued growth of the Manhattan Beach Project will create close to 50 new jobs over the next year. Since its debut in 2016, more than 25 million Beyond Burgers have been sold. Along with being available in the meat case at more than 10,000 grocery stores, it is also sold on the menu at 10,000 restaurants, hotels and universities including TGI Fridays, BurgerFi, Bareburger, Epic Burger and A&W Canada.