Beyond Meat flexes its European muscle

By Oliver Morrison contact

- Last updated on GMT

Lidl is selling the Beyond Meat Burger in all 3,200 branches in Germany ©Lidl
Lidl is selling the Beyond Meat Burger in all 3,200 branches in Germany ©Lidl

Related tags: Beyond meat, vegan, plant-based

Beyond Meat will start making its plant-based meat substitutes in Europe next year, marking its first production plant outside of the US, and has also announced a deal with German discount supermarket Lidl.

The Californian alt-meat firm has expanded its partnership with Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat to produce the brand’s plant-based meats at a new manufacturing facility being constructed by Zandbergen in Zoeterwoude, the Netherlands. The plant is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2020.

Seth Goldman, executive chairman of Beyond Meat, said localised production would reduce the company’s transportation footprint, and help it increase the speed in which it could get products to customers across Europe.

“The consumer response in Europe has been very positive and we look forward to being able to better serve those customers with locally produced products. We are pleased to have strong strategic partners in Europe like Zandbergen to help us grow our global footprint​,” he said.

Last year, Zandbergen started distributing Beyond Meat’s products throughout Europe across both foodservice and retail.

“As the demand for plant-based products continues to expand in Europe, we are thrilled to be partnering with Beyond Meat to produce their innovative products outside the US​,” said Adriaan Figee, Chief Commercial Officer of Zandbergen.

Beyond Meat Burger launches in all German Lidl stores

Beyond Meat has also announced a deal with Lidl. The discount supermarket will sell the Beyond Meat Burger in all 3,200 branches in Germany for a limited period for €4.99 per two-pack (227 grams).

"We are closely monitoring food trends and innovations and are pleased to be the first grocery retailer in Germany to offer our customers the popular Beyond Meat Burger​,” said Jan Bock, purchasing manager at Lidl Germany. 

"For vegetarians and vegans, we regularly have new products in our range and a wide selection. With the vegan burger patties, which have a meaty consistency and smell and taste of a traditional burger patty, we offer meat lovers an almost perfect alternative. We are very excited about how the action will be accepted."

Lidl hopes the meatless patty, made from pea protein to mimic texture of muscle fibres of meat and beetroot to mimic the pink coloration of meat, will appeal to the 1.3 million vegans, and around 8 million vegetarians, in Germany, according to the Vegetarierbund Deutschland.

“The vegan patties can be a first step towards less meat consumption. It is important to continuously develop vegan meat products and to make alternative meat consumption easy and attractive for as many consumers as possible​," Bock continued.

Lidl now joins Albert Heijn in the Netherlands, Delhaize in Belgium and Tesco in the UK as the European supermarkets to sell Beyond Meat as the US firm targets expansion in the region. In Germany the Beyond Burger is already available at Metro.

Investors seem beyond happy at meatless era prospects

Beyond Meat’s shares rose 8% on the New York Stock Exchange on the news that it had signed a deal to start European production. Its share price has now tripled from its IPO price when it gained record growth of 163% on its first day of trading, in what was the most successful first day of trading from a company in 20 years.

The likes of Snoop Dogg, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bill Gates and ex-McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson are among the celebrities to have reportedly invested in Beyond Meat.

Related topics: Business

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