Vegan meat brand, Beyond Meat, wants to do more than just provide a plant-based alternative to animal meat. According to executive chairman of Beyond Meat, Seth Goldman, the plant-based meat company believes that it will one day transform the meat section at the grocery store into the protein section.
Goldman spoke before a crowd at the Seed & Chips conference in early May. The annual summit, which invites food innovators and food activists from across the globe, covers a wide variety of topics such as farming technology, health and nutrition, sustainability, women in food tech, combatting food waste, and more.
“Our belief is that we will transform the meat section into the protein section,” Goldman said. “…so it’s cow protein, chicken protein, and plant-based protein.”
To illustrate the opportunity for disruption to the meat industry, Goldman explained how the milk section of the grocery aisle has been transformed in the past few years. Plant-based milk, he said, now represents 14 percent of the entire dairy category, and growing fast. Plant-based meat, however, represents only a small fraction of the $200 billion meat sector because consumers have not yet embraced plant-based meat in the way that they have vegan milk.
While vegan milks can be found merchandized next to cow’s milk in the grocery store, vegan burgers and plant-based meat typically have their own, separate section. Because of that, Goldman said, Beyond Meat worked with retailers to see that the vegan Beyond Burger would be the first plant-based burger to be sold next to meat.
The strategy has proven to be highly successful. Last year, Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown revealed that the realistic veggie burger had outsold beef at a major supermarket in southern California. Further, Goldman revealed that in several regions across the country at two of the nation’s top retailers, the vegan Beyond Burger was the top-selling packaged burger in the meat section.
Following its success in the United States and the launch of the vegan Beyond Burger in Hong Kong, Beyond Meat is planning for global expansion. The company has partnered with distributors across the globe, bringing Beyond Meat to Europe, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Canada, and Mexico in the coming months.
Image Credit: Beyond Meat