Beyond Meat serves Canada with Beyond Beef

Canada becomes first country outside U.S. to sell the versatile plant-based ground beef

California-based startup Beyond Meat is offering Canadians a bigger taste of the fast-growing market for meat alternatives.

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Beyond Beef, which is designed to look, cook and taste like meat, will now be available at local grocers' fresh meat counters in the neighboring country as the meatless craze flourishes in the United States.

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“Canada is a very progressive market and since launching in retail there earlier this year, we’ve seen a tremendous response from Canadians who are interested in our plant-based proteins,” said Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat founder and CEO.

The “beef” is made with plant-based ingredients without GMOs and is gluten- and soy-free. It is composed of a meat-like texture that represents ground beef with “marbling made from cocoa butter that melts and tenderizes for a satisfying and delicious at-home cooking experience," the company said.

“We are excited to bring our latest product innovation to Canadians, welcoming a growing number of consumers to the delicious taste and nutritional and environmental benefits of our plant-based proteins."

- Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat founder and CEO

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Beyond Meat, which makes its “meat” from ingredients such as pea protein, canola oil and beet juice, tapped into the Canadian retail market for the first time this past summer. In less than six months after launching its Beyond Burger in Canada, the burger was distributed to more than 4,000 stores, the company said.

It has since become the number-one-selling plant-based burger at the fresh meat counter at major Canadian retailers with 80 percent of plant-based burger sales deriving from Beyond Meat, the company said.

According to the 2019 Canada Food Guide, Canadians are encouraged to have a diverse protein intake with an additional emphasis on eating plant-based protein, which Beyond Meat says works in its favor.

"Beyond Meat works in service of that vision by sourcing the same building blocks of meat -- proteins, fats, trace minerals, carbohydrates and water -- directly from the plant kingdom," the company said.

BEYOND MEAT BURGER SUCH A HIT AT CARL'S JR., THE FAST-FOOD CHAIN IS DOING THIS

Customers can head to the fresh meat counter of their local grocery store to try it out. The company also offers a recipe section on how to incorporate the product into favorites such as tacos, meatballs and chili.

BEYOND MEAT CRAZE, DEMAND FOR PLANT-BASED FOODS BOOSTS MEATLESS JOB MARKET

Meanwhile, the meatless movement continues to "beef up" in the United States. The demand for plant-based products from the likes of Beyond Meat spurred the creation of over 50,000 jobs, a new report from San Francisco-based Plant Based Foods Association and data firm SPINS found.

The market has also grown 11 percent in the past year, bringing the total plant-based market value to $4.5 billion, according to the Plant Based Foods Association.

The exponential growth pushed major fast-food chains to take a nibble of the plant-based burger. In September, McDonald’s said it developed a special recipe using burgers from Beyond Meat.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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