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Tyson increases funding as Beyond Burger launches in more marketplaces.
December 19, 2017
Beyond Meat this week unveiled another product in its plant-based meat alternative line: Beyond Sausage. The latest innovation, according to the company, delivers on the juicy taste and texture of pork sausage, but with more protein, 43% less total fat, 38% less saturated fat, 27% fewer calories and 26% less sodium than traditional pork sausage. Beyond Sausage will be available exclusively at the Whole Foods Market Pearl St. store in Boulder, Colo., in three flavors: Original Bratwurst, Hot Italian and Sweet Italian.
"I love Beyond Sausage first and foremost because it's truly so enjoyable to eat but also because I see it as an advance in our team's relentless march toward a perfect build of meat from plants," Beyond Meat chief executive officer Ethan Brown said. "Though we aren't there yet, I'm encouraged by the progress we've made with Beyond Sausage and look forward to hearing what the consumer thinks."
Beyond Sausage is the first of its kind -- an assembly of pea, fava bean and rice protein organized to deliver the unique texture of pork sausage, wrapped in a 100% plant-based casing derived from algae. Trace amounts of beet lend the meaty red color. Coconut oil ensures juiciness. Like the Beyond Burger, the company used its proprietary approach to braiding and binding proteins, fats, minerals and water to recreate the basic architecture of meat.
Starting this week, all three flavors of Beyond Sausage will be sold at the Beyond Burger restaurant inside the Whole Foods Market Pearl St. store, where the Beyond Burger first launched in May 2016.
"As a category leader in plant-based meat alternatives, Beyond Meat has revolutionized how consumers get their protein," said Red Elk Banks, vice president of Whole Foods Market's Rocky Mountain region. "We're thrilled to introduce the Beyond Sausage to our Boulder shoppers and proud to partner with Beyond Meat on the introduction of another innovative and delicious plant-based protein."
The company said the Beyond Burger is the only burger that looks, cooks and tastes like ground beef but is made entirely from plants, without genetically modified ingredients, soy or gluten. The Beyond Burger contains more protein and iron than beef but less saturated and total fat. The Beyond Burger is currently sold in the meat case at more than 5,000 grocery stores nationwide, including Kroger, Albertsons Companies, Ahold Delhaize and Whole Foods Market, and it is on the menu at more than 4,000 restaurants, hotels and college campus dining halls. The Beyond Burger also recently did a soft launch at TGI Fridays and is planned for a nationwide rollout across its 469 restaurants in 2018.
Latest fundraising round
Beyond Meat also recently announced that it has closed another financing round, led by Cleveland Avenue LLC, the venture capital firm founded by Don Thompson, former CEO of McDonald's Corp.
"We see Beyond Meat as a strategic and compelling, consumer-focused investment," said Thompson. "Customer response to Beyond Meat's great-tasting products has driven its growth, and we're excited about our investment as the brand continues to innovate for the future."
Tyson Foods also increased its stake in Beyond Meat during the latest investment round.
"Global demand for all protein remains high, and we're passionate about meeting that demand sustainably," said Justin Whitmore, executive vice president corporate strategy and chief sustainability officer of Tyson Foods. "Our investment in Beyond Meat provides another fantastic alternative for consumers as we strive to sustainably feed the world."
This latest round of fundraising, totaling $55 million, will be used to more than triple the size of the Beyond Meat's production footprint, to further fund the company's research and development commitment to build meat from plants and to expand sales and distribution.
The brand's high-octane growth and groundbreaking approach to merchandising attracted such investors as Jack and Suzy Welch, Silicon Valley's Thomas Middleditch, Seth Goldman (founder of Honest Tea) and Candice Bergen, among others.
"We discovered Beyond Meat because its burger tastes delicious, ... and then we were thrilled to also learn that they are second to none in this space in terms of building and scaling operations. They own the future," the Welches explained.
Krissa Welshans grew up on a crop farm and cow-calf operation in Marlette, Michigan. Welshans earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University and master’s degree in public policy from New England College. She and her husband Brock run a show cattle operation in Henrietta, Texas, where they reside with their son, Wynn.
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