Salad chain ditches steak for Beyond Meat

Just Salad is tossing beef.

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The national chain announced Thursday it will no longer serve steak on its menu in favor of a plant-based beef alternative from Beyond Meat.

The New York-based restaurant will serve up Beyond Beef Meatballs at all of its nearly 40 locations permanently. The meatless meatballs will replace its grilled steak topping in its Keto Zoodle Bowl. The Beyond Meatballs will also be available for customers to add on to salads for $4.99 (for three), around 10 cents more than its Smokehouse Steak topping.

Just Salad is removing steak from menus, adding Beyond Meat. (Just Salad). 

“We see that plant-based is really the future,” Janani Lee, Just Salad’s chief sustainability officer, told FOX Business Thursday. “It’s something our guests are looking for.”

Just Salad is the latest chain to join the plant-based movement, following the likes of Burger King, White Castle, KFC, Del Taco and more.

Still, some chains have been reluctant to add the fake meat to menus. Taco Bell announced a new vegetarian menu this week that didn’t include an alternative to beef or chicken.

Chipotle has also been reluctant to jump on the alternative meat bandwagon. When asked if the chain would consider adding a plant-based meat to restaurants, Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol told Yahoo Finance in July: “We have spoken to those folks and, unfortunately, it wouldn’t fit in our ‘food with integrity’ principals because of the processing, as I understand it, that it takes to make a plant taste like a burger.”

Other chains, like Arby’s, known for its roast beef sandwiches, trolled the meatless movement, putting out a “Marrot,” a fake carrot made entirely out of meat, instead.

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BYNDBEYOND MEAT INC.80.81+0.38+0.47%

The plant-based market has 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.

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Just Salad sales are up 20% this year, and the company has averaged double-digit same store sales over the last three years, the chain told FOX Business. It plans to open 10 more locations by 2021.