Beyond Meat is a Los Angeles-based producer of plant-based meat substitutes founded in 2009 by Ethan Brown. The company's initial products became available across the United States in 2012. The company has products designed to simulate chicken, beef, and pork sausage. As of 2020, Beyond products are widely available in most U.S. grocery stores, and the company's web site lists availability at over 60 restaurant chains and venues such as stadiums and campus cafeterias.
The company was founded as a California-based startup by Ethan Brown in 2009. The company has received venture funding from GreatPoint Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Obvious Corporation, Bill Gates, Biz Stone, the Humane Society and Tyson Foods. The company began selling its plant-based chicken products in Whole Foods supermarkets across the US in April 2013. In 2014, it developed a simulated beef product.
As of 2014 , the company's product offerings consisted of Beyond Chicken and Beyond Beef. The company's two flavours of imitation ground beef product are made from pea proteins, canola oil, and various seasonings.The company announced in 2014 that it had begun development and testing of a new product called "The Beast". The vegetable protein-based burger patties were taste tested by the New York Mets during a pregame event.
The soy-free vegan burger patties branded as "The Beast" were released in February 2015. The Beast Burger contained 23 grams of protein and has micronutrients added during manufacturing.
Tyson Foods purchased a 5% stake in Beyond Meat in October 2016. It sold its 6.5% stake and exited the investment in April 2019, ahead of the company's initial public offering.
In December 2017, the company announced a vegan alternative to pork sausage called "Beyond Sausage". The three varieties of "sausage" were called Bratwurst, Hot Italian, and Sweet Italian. As of July 2019, the company was producing plant-based products for burgers, beef, beef crumbles, and sausage.
In January 2018, TGI Fridays launched the Beyond Cheeseburger nationwide.
In June 2018, Beyond Meat opened its second production facility in Columbia, Missouri, resulting in a three-fold increase of the company's manufacturing space. The company also claimed to have 27,000 different points of distribution for their products in the United States. In July, the company was rolling out their products to 50 international markets, partnering with Tesco in the UK and Tim Hortons and A&W in Canada. In July 2019, Dunkin' Donuts announced that they would begin selling breakfast sandwiches using the Meatless Sausage product in Manhattan, with plans for national distribution beginning on November 6, 2019.
Also in July 2018, Beyond Meat obtained non-GMO certification through The Non-GMO Project. The third-party organization conducted a one-year review of the brand to ensure that all ingredients, suppliers and manufacturing facilities are free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
In July 2018, A&W (Canada) added a burger featuring Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger to menus across Canada. In March 2019, A&W Canada launched a new breakfast roll containing Beyond Breakfast Sausage.
In July 2018, Beyond Meat opened a new R&D lab in El Segundo, California. The 26,000-square foot facility is an investment toward building plant-based meat. The research & development center houses nearly 100 employees who work in eight distinct labs.
In September 2018, Beyond Meat received a 2018 Environment Champion of the Earth Award from the United Nations. This sought to recognize the company’s sustainability efforts beyond the product such as swapping plastic packaging trays to compostable tray for use in their Beyond Sausage.
In November 2018, Beyond Meat brought the Beyond Burger to the United Kingdom at retail chain Tesco and restaurants Honest Burger and All Bar One. At Tesco, a pack of two burgers costs £5.50. In September 2019, Beyond Sausage launched at more than 450 Tesco stores and Lewis Hamilton's plant-based food chain Neat Burger. At Tesco, a pack of two sausage links costs £4.95.
Carl’s Jr. launched the Beyond Famous Star featuring a Beyond Burger in December 2018. In October 2019, Carl’s Jr. introduced the Beyond BBQ Cheeseburger to menus nationwide. In December 2019, Carl's Jr. introduced Beyond Breakfast Sausage with a Beyond Sausage Burrito and Beyond Sausage Egg & Cheese Biscuit to all locations.
Del Taco debuted a Beyond Meat taco, first testing across Southern California in December 2018 and launched nationally in April 2019. Del Taco added an Epic Beyond Cali Burrito and a Beyond 8-Layer Burrito in June 2019.
In March 2019, a civil suit was filed against Beyond Meat by its former business partner, Don Lee Farms, after Beyond Meat switched to using different suppliers for its products. Don Lee Farms alleged breach of contract, and further alleged that they had expressed "significant concerns" about food safety protocols at Beyond Meat's facility.
Canadian fast-food chain Tim Hortons announced in May 2019 that it would be testing Beyond Meat’s breakfast sausage in three breakfast sandwiches in select locations. By June 2019, Tim Hortons extended the test to all 4,000 locations across Canada. In July 2019, Tim Hortons offered two new burgers featuring Beyond Burger patties. In September 2019, Tim Hortons removed Beyond Meat products from its restaurants outside of British Columbia and Ontario. On January 28 Tim Horton's removed Beyond Meat products from the two remaining provinces due to unsatisfactory sales.
In May 2019, the Beyond Burger arrived in Germany at Lidl’s 3,200 stores, selling out in a few hours during the initial launch. In July 2019, METRO Cash & Carry became the first wholesales on the European continent to offer Beyond Sausage.
As of July 2019, Beyond Meat had a market value of US$11.7 billion, following a value of $3.8 billion on the day of its initial public offering, May 2, 2019. Beyond Meat trades on the United States NASDAQ exchange under the symbol BYND.
In June 2019, the New Zealand restaurant Hell Pizza used the company's product for a "burger pizza" without disclosing that its "medium-rare burger patty" was not meat. The local Ministry for Primary Industries launched an investigation after several complaints, and concluded that the product description did not meet the food standards code, but declined to take formal action against the company.
In July 2019, Beyond Meat introduced Beyond Breakfast Sausage to the U.S. at 163 Dunkin' restaurants in Manhattan. In November 2019 Dunkin’ made the Beyond Sausage Sandwich available nationwide.
In August 2019, Subway said it would roll out a Beyond Meatball Marinara sub at 685 locations in the U.S and Canada starting in September 2019. The Beyond Meatball sub is a variation on Subway’s classic sandwich with plant-based Beyond Meatballs, made exclusively for Subway.
In August 2019, a KFC restaurant in Atlanta, tested Beyond Fried Chicken as a menu option. The product sold out in five hours, and outsold a typical week of popcorn chicken sales. A tweet by KFC after the product had sold out described it as a "Kentucky Fried Miracle".
In September 2019, McDonald's Canada announced it would start testing a P.L.T. burger made with a Beyond Meat patty at 28 locations in Southwestern Ontario due to customers’ growing interest in plant-based options.
Hardee's began testing Beyond Meat at breakfast, lunch and dinner in October 2019. The Original Beyond Thickburger featuring a Beyond Burger patty and the Beyond Sausage Biscuit featuring Beyond Breakfast Sausage were available at participating locations in Raleigh and Kansas City. In December 2019, Hardee's announced a nationwide expansion, offering a Beyond Sausage Burrito, Beyond Sausage Biscuit, Beyond Sausage & Egg Biscuit with Beyond Breakfast Sausage and the Original Beyond Thickburger with a Beyond Burger patty.
In November 2019, the Beyond Meat officially started sales in Ukraine.
In December 2019, the Beyond Burger arrived in Romania at Kaufland stores all around the country.
The Beyond Burger is available in several Canadian retail chains including Save-On-Foods, Metro, Loblaws and Whole Foods. Quick service restaurants such as McDonald's Canada, Tim Hortons and A&W Canada also serve up the Beyond Burger nationwide. In December 2019, Beyond Beef arrived in Canada, which became the first country to offer the plant-based ground beef.
Beyond Meat is available in 50 countries including Australia, the UK, Canada, Chile, Germany, Israel, Korea, Mexico, South Africa, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates. The company announced plans for further international expansion in 2020.
In February 2020, the Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage products were made available for sale at Casino, Monoprix and Franprix supermarkets in France.
In April 2020, 3,300 Starbucks cafes in China started to sell the company's products.