The Beyond Burger launched in the US in 2016 and is now sold in almost every supermarket and around 10,000 foodservice outlets in the country.
After a soft launch this summer in a few select stores in Europe, the plant-based burger is scheduled for a wider launch before the end of this year.
Speaking to FoodNavigator at SIAL in Paris last week, where Beyond Meat had its own stand as well as branding at the booths of its European partners, German poultry giant Weisenhof and Dutch family-owned Zandbergen, chief growth officer at Beyond Meat Chuck Muth said the reaction in Europe was already “overwhelming”.
“We have a huge social media fan base here already waiting for our products and [at] this show, a lot of people have come up and talked to us about it,” Muth said. “We think that Europe will be a very receptive market for a high-quality plant-based product that is very much on trend with millennials and people looking to reduce their meat consumption.”
Beyond Meat sees Northern European markets, such as the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavian regions, as being the most promising but Muth said consumers in Southern and Eastern European countries have also shown interest.
Beyond Meat uses pea protein, coconut oil and beetroot juice to replicate meat but is currently looking at diversifying the protein source in its burgers to make them more “complex and nutritionally balanced”, Muth said, mentioning fava beans, brown rice, sunflower seeds and potato protein as possible additions.
The next hurdle for the company, which last month (26 September) won the United Nation’s Champions of the Earth award for science and innovation in conjunction with Impossible Foods thanks to their work in championing more sustainable food choices, is making its products more clean label.
Muth described them as “relatively clean” at the minute with most ingredients “all natural” recognisable to the average consumer but said Beyond Meat’s next project would be to reduce the number of ingredients on the label.