Plant-based meat alternatives provider Beyond Meat has unveiled plans to build a new research and development (R&D) centre to expand its headquarters in El Segundo, California, US.

Named the Manhattan Beach Project Innovation Centre, the facility will increase the company’s research space by more than seven times.

It will employ more than 100 staff, including scientists, engineers, chefs and researchers.

Manhattan Beach Project innovation centre details

The innovation centre will cover an area of 26,000ft² and feature state-of-the-art texture and imaging labs, which will enable the company to conduct research for developing plant-based meat alternatives.

The facility will also be equipped with a pilot production line possessing the capability to test and produce small batches. The new line will double the company’s pilot production capacity and reduce the time needed to introduce new products to the market.

“Beyond Meat uses a patented production system, which uses heating, cooling and pressurisation processes to arrange the plant-proteins into a fibrous structure similar to that of animal proteins.”

The innovation centre will feature a sensory lab for real-time consumer testing of products and enable Beyond Meat to monitor changes in consumer preferences.

In addition, the centre will feature an advanced gourmet kitchen to host chefs and culinary experts.

Ingredients and process technology

Beyond Meat’s product’s ingredients include soy and pea protein isolates, amaranth, soy and carrot fibre, expeller-pressed canola oil, caramel colouring and yeast extract. They are claimed to be natural and have not undergone any genetic modification.

Dipotassium phosphate and titanium dioxide are also used in the company’s plant meat products.

Beyond Meat uses a patented production system, which uses heating, cooling and pressurisation processes to arrange the plant-proteins into a fibrous structure similar to that of animal proteins.

The company’s vegetarian beef is made of 100% pea protein, while its vegetarian chicken is a mixture of soy and pea protein.

Details of Beyond Meat’s products

Beyond Meat uses plant protein to create nutritious vegetarian products such as burgers, meatballs, chicken poppers, chicken strips, burgers and minced beef.

The products are marketed under the brand names Beyond Burger®, Beyond Sausage, Beyond Chicken® and Beyond Beef®.

Beyond Burger® is a ready-to-cook raw patty containing 20gm of plant protein and is free from soy and gluten. The peas used to make the burger provide the protein, while beets provide the beefy red colour. Coconut oil and potato starch provide a juiciness and chewy texture

The Beyond Beef® products are also made from pea protein, while the Beyond Chicken® products are made from pea and soy protein, as well as other ingredients such as sunflower oil, rice flour and carrot fibre.

Marketing commentary on Beyond Meat

Founded in 2009, Beyond Meat is a US-based company that produces plant-based meat alternatives. The company is headquartered in downtown El Segundo, California, US, with a production plant located in Columbia, Missouri, US.

Beyond Meat aims to produce plant-derived meat products that can replace animal protein. The company continuously refines its products, which contain high levels of nutrients using high-quality ingredients.

The refining process eliminates the use of harmful additives.

The company’s products are available in approximately 19,000 retail outlets and 11,000 stores nationwide, including Walmart, Whole Foods, Safeway and Publix.