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Beyond Meat: Plant-Based Protein

Beyond Meat: Plant-Based Protein

People who consume meat can’t imagine the world without burgers.

But what if you could create meat from a plant? Don’t think of a miserable soy hot dog but what if the same taste, texture, and flavor could come from something beyond animals?

Beyond Meat is on a mission. The founder, Ethan Brown, is convinced that the same process for creating meat from animals can occur through a similar process with plants.

Two University of Missouri professors, Fu-hung Hsieh and Harold Huff, had started creating a process using hot and cold temperature and pressure to get soybean and pea proteins close to the texture of chicken. Ethan Brown, using the professor’s process created Chicken-Free Strips as the first product they brought to market through Whole Foods.

Produced through a food extrusion technology that cooks the mixture while forcing it through a specially designed mechanism using steam, pressure and cold water to create a chicken-like texture.

Fast Company listed Beyond Meat as one of the most innovative companies in 2014 and they have attracted venture capital from the Kleinert Perkins, the co-founders of Twitter and Bill Gates.

Where’s the Beef?

Ethan’s marketing insight was that if you could sell meat derived from plants, you could convince meat eaters that they didn’t have to give up their meat.

The meat was just going to come from a different source: plants.

Beyond Meat needs to shift the perception of bad tasting veggie burgers by delivering a product that simulates the taste of chicken or beef.

Beyond Meat needs to shift the perception of bad tasting veggie burgers by delivering a product that simulates the taste of chicken or beef.

Today, plants are providing analog materials for other applications. My former employer, Nomacorc makes a plant-based synthetic cork-derived from sugarcane. So instead of using fossil-fuel based resins, they make their plastic from plants. The cork is called Select Bio.

Milk is another example. Plant milk such as Califia Farms makes milk from seeds like nuts, seeds, fruit, and roots. I exclusively drink plant milk (almond milk) instead of traditional dairy milk at home. At first, the idea of milk from plants was odd – but Califia and others have done a superb job of improving the taste so that it can be an acceptable substitution.

The Beast

Recently, Beyond Meat has a new product has been introduced called The Beast.

It is a blend of canola, flaxseed, palm and sunflower oil along with powdered pea protein, water, and seasoning. I haven’t tasted the product but it is vegan, soy-free and has 23 grams of protein plus antioxidants, iron, calcium, vitamins, potassium, and omega-3s. This may not sound appealing but as the planet struggles to find sustainable ways to feed a growing global population, a plant-based meat will become more common than animal based meat.

At some point, a new generation will grow up thinking animal based protein is so old-school.

Visionaries are a rare breed. Ethan always wanted to open a vegan McDonald’s chain. I think one day, he may get that chance.

Hungry to bite into some juicy marketing to help grow your business? Let’s get lunch. Text me at 919 720 0995 or email me at





Photo credit: Courtesy of Beyond Meat



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