Beyond Meat History

Ethan Brown launched Beyond Meat in 2009, a company that makes plant-based meat alternatives in Los Angeles. In 2012, the company introduced its first items in the United States. In the beef, pork, and poultry categories, the company offers plant-based solutions. Beyond Meat products are accessible in over 80 countries, with over 118,000 retail and foodservice outlets.

Beyond Meat Founding

Ethan Brown started the company in 2009 with the claimed goal of addressing climate change. Brown first reached out to two University of Missouri professors, Fu-hung Hsieh and Harold Huff, who had been working on a meatless protein for years. After licensing Hsieh and Huff’s technique, Beyond Meat debuted its first product, Beyond Chicken Strips (formerly dubbed “Chicken-Free Strips”), in a Whole Foods store in 2012, and then expanded nationally in 2013. Beyond Meat released Beyond Beef Crumbles, its first plant-based beef product, in 2014, and has subsequently expanded into plant-based pork. Beyond Meat was selected the 2013 Company of the Year by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Beyond Meat Manufacturing

Beyond Meat has production facilities in Columbia, Missouri, and Pennsylvania in the United States. Beyond Meat inaugurated its second production facility in Columbia, Missouri, in June 2018, more than tripling the company’s manufacturing space. Beyond Meat purchased a manufacturing facility in DeVault, Pennsylvania, in 2020. Beyond Meat has two locations in the Netherlands: a co-manufacturing facility in Zoeterwoude that is owned and run by Zandbergen and an owned factory in Enschede. These two facilities serve the European, Middle Eastern, and African distribution networks.

Beyond Meat has a production unit in Jiaxing, China, which it owns. It is the company’s first “end-to-end manufacturing plant” outside of the US, with full-scale production beginning in 2021.

Research and innovation

In El Segundo, California, Beyond Meat established a 26,000 square foot (2,400 m2) R&D lab in 2018.

Beyond Meat announced in January 2021 that a new global headquarters would be opened later that year in El Segundo, California. Once the campus is complete, the corporation claims it will be able to accommodate three to four times its existing R&D team.

Joint ventures and distribution

Dunkin’ Donuts announced in July 2019 that they would begin offering breakfast sandwiches made with the Meatless Sausage product in Manhattan, with countrywide distribution set to begin on November 6, 2019.

Beyond Meat announced a partnership with McDonald’s in November 2020 to develop the McPlant option, a plant-based patty and chicken alternative.

In February 2021, it began testing the McPlant in Denmark and Sweden. Beyond Meat recently announced the launch of a plant-based minced pork in China.

Beyond Meat will build an e-commerce site in 2020 to offer items directly to customers.

Taco Bell announced a partnership with Beyond Meat in January 2021, originally as a trial and subsequently as a permanent option for a new plant-based protein meal.

In January 2021, Beyond Meat and PepsiCo launched The PLANeT Partnership, a joint venture to create and market plant-based food and beverages.

Beyond Meat announced cooperation with McDonald’s and Yum Brands in February 2021. For Yum Brands’ eateries KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, these collaborations will add new food options to the menu, such as the McPlant Burger and plant-protein-based pizza toppings, chicken substitutes, and even taco fillings.

The suit in civil court

Don Lee Farms, a former business partner and supplier of Beyond Meat, launched a civil claim against the company in March 2019. This was spurred by Beyond Meat’s decision to swap suppliers, with whom they then disclosed manufacturing process details.

Don Lee Farms claimed that they had expressed “serious concerns” about food safety practices for raw materials generated at Beyond Meat’s facilities and subsequently given to Don Lee Farms for further processing.


Strips of chicken.

The company’s first product, which was released in 2012 and marketed frozen, was supposed to look like a chicken.

Harold Huff and Fu-Hung Hsieh of the University of Missouri were responsible for the product’s development. They were made with “soy powder, gluten-free flour, carrot fiber, as well as other ingredients,” which were combined and fed into a food extrusion machine, which cooked the mixture while pushing it through a specially designed mechanism that used steam, pressure, and cold water to give the product a chicken-like texture.

In January 2021, Beyond Meat and PepsiCo launched The PLANeT Partnership, a joint venture to create and market plant-based food and beverages.

Beyond Meat Burger

The company revealed in 2014 that it has started developing a new beef burger-like product, which was released in February 2015.

A Beyond Meat Burger
A KFC Beyond Meat Burger


Rice protein, coconut oil, sunflower lecithin, Pea protein isolates, apple extract, canola oil, pomegranate powder, mung bean protein, and potato starch, are used in the burgers.

Red beet juice is used to make “bleeding” beef products.

The items have been certified as non-GMO.
The goods are categorized as ultra-processed foods in the NOVA food classification scheme due to the number of components and procedures involved in their creation.

One burger patty has 1,100 kilojoules (270 kcal), 20 grams of protein, 20 grams of fat (five grams saturated fat), and one gram of salt. The protein and fat composition are comparable to a beef patty of comparable size, however, the salt content is “much higher.” The nutritional value of a burger varies depending on the restaurant chain where it is served.

Beyond Sausage

The firm released “Beyond Sausage,” a vegan alternative to pig sausage, in December 2017.

Bratwurst, Hot Italian, and Sweet Italian were the three types of “sausage” available.

Beyond sausages (cooked)
Beyond sausages (cooked)
Beyond sausages (raw)
Beyond sausages (raw)

Beyond Meatballs

The Beyond Meatball Marinara sub was the first time “Beyond Meatballs,” a plant-based alternative to regular meatballs, were offered at Subway in 2019.

Beyond Meatballs are available in certain grocery shops across the United States.

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