Grocery Plant-Based

Beyond Meat To Debut ‘Extra Juicy’ and ‘Lean’ Varieties in 2021

Photo courtesy of Beyond Meat

In a move to further position themselves as a grocery store alternative to ground beef, Beyond Meat is taking a page out of the beef industry’s playbook. They’re going to start selling blends of their plant-based product that vary based on fat content.

The new forms don’t have official names yet, but one is being touted as the “brand’s juiciest patty” while the other is described as the company’s “most nutritious patty yet.” To differentiate, you could almost think of them as “Extra Juicy” and “Lean.”

In terms of ground beef varieties, you could consider Beyond Meat’s regular version to be standard ground beef, “Extra Juicy” to be like 80/20 or Extra Fatty, and the “Lean” one to be like a 96/4 blend of beef.

The “juiciest patty” form still has 35% less saturated fat than 80/20 ground beef, while the “most nutritious” form has 55% less saturated fat than 80/20 ground beef.

For context, Beyond Meat’s current iteration has 5 g of saturated fat per quarter pound, and 80/20 ground beef has about 8 grams of saturated fat per quarter pound. The “juiciest patty” form should have slightly more fat than Beyond’s standard product. Meanwhile, the “most nutritious form,” at 55% less saturated fat than 80/20 beef, would have slightly less than 4 grams of saturated fat per quarter pound based on Beyond’s claims.

Some folks will be sampling the new varieties in a sold-out tasting event in Los Angeles later in 2020. As for everyone else, they can expect to find the new options in stores in early 2021.

Fast Food Plant-Based Sustainability

KFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken Comes To Socal For A Limited Run

After a brief introduction to KFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken last year, the plant-based poultry is getting an expanded test run across Southern California.

Beyond Fried Chicken photos courtesy of KFC. Background by Maxime Lebrun on Unsplash.

Starting July 20th, Beyond Meat’s collab with KFC will be available for a limited time at 59 locations across Southern California. The restaurants are located in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties.

For those unfamiliar, the Beyond Fried Chicken offering consists of nuggets made from a plant-based chicken breast substitute that Beyond Meat has developed. Seasoned like KFC’s fried chicken, it’s sold in a 6-piece or 12-piece order, with combo options available as well. All of these come with your choice of dipping sauce.

The SoCal regional offering marks the third time Beyond Fried Chicken has been made available, suggesting that KFC is looking to ramp this up to a national scale some time in the near future. It first showed up in Atlanta in August 2019, followed by a test offering in February 2020 in Nashville and Charlotte.

Considering its debut in Atlanta drew hour-long lines, there’s definitely a growing appetite for the nuggets that the chain could capitalize on.

Below is a list of all of the locations you can find the plant-based chicken at starting on the 20th:

Deals Health News Packaged Food Plant-Based What's New

Beyond Meat’s Burger Patty Priced The Lowest It’s Ever Been: $1.60

As meat prices soar, plant-based patty producer Beyond Meat is making an attempt to appeal to the masses.

The company will be releasing its Cookout Classic 10-pack, a value of their well-known plant-based burgers, which will be for sale in most Targets and Walmarts nationwide for $15.99.

“The new offering will be available through mid-August, or until supplies last, and is intended to narrow the price gap between plant-based meat and animal protein, making delicious, nutritious and sustainable plant-based meat more accessible to more people,” said the company in a statement via email. 

The release comes at a time when meat prices are the highest they’ve been since 1974, which the brand hopes will leave typical meat-eating consumers a bit more open to trying plant-based burgers. 

“This forward-looking pricing represents an important milestone along our journey to make Beyond Meat more accessible to all consumers,” said CEO Ethan Brown.

According to CNN, a secondary, less consumer centric reason is that the company has an excess amount of the patties, which were destined for restaurants pre-COVID, and hopes to get rid of the stock.

This plan is only a part of the company’s ever-expanding reach, as they’ve recently inked a deal with Yum Brand’s (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell) Chinese storefronts and tested burgers in McDonald’s Canada. A direct-to-consumer website will be released this summer, as well. 

Hounded by restaurant shutdowns or not, Beyond Meat appears to be chugging along and trying to turn a negative situation into an opportunity for expansion. 

Whatever the reason the Cookout Classic pack exists, for consumers or for the brand, it does. And, it’ll soon be available at a store near most people. For fans of the product, any sign of the company’s (understandably) premium-priced burgers getting a price slash is a good signal of things to come . 

Fast Food

Taco Bell Adding Plant-Based Meat To Menu As Soon As This Year

With several fast food heavyweights such as Burger King, Subway, and even Del Taco diving into the plant-based meat game, it was a little odd that the oft-innovative Taco Bell hadn’t joined in on the vegetarian trend.

Newly minted CEO Mark King seems to have had enough, and proclaimed that the chain would start incorporating plant-based meats “in the next year,” according to Bloomberg.

King even said he met with both Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, the two biggest names in plant-based meat, and the go-to producers for most of these big fast food chains who have adopted veggie meats.

While King hinted at using Beyond or Impossible, it is a bit of a surprise since Taco Bell has actually put together its own proprietary blend of plant-based meat, which has been used in locations throughout Europe.

The oat-based meat, known as the “Oatrageous” taco or burrito, consisted of pulled oats, legumes and standard Taco Bell seasonings.

The oat meat was scheduled to be available at all Europe Taco Bells by summer 2020, and a U.S. transition only felt natural.

Whichever way Taco Bell decides to go, it’s about time they made the move, as they have always had an inadvertently vegetarian-friendly menu, but had fallen behind in the plant-based meat wars.

Fast Food Plant-Based

KFC Expands Vegan Fried Chicken To 70 Locations In The US

Last year Kentucky Fried Chicken announced that they partnered up with Beyond Meat to offer some plant-based alternatives to fried chicken. For one day, the vegan protein was sold at a KFC in Atlanta and the launch did gangbusters in numbers.

The restaurant sold out of the plant-based meat in less than five hours after opening its doors, with lines wrapped around the block with people waiting to get their vegan fix.

According to LiveKindly, KFC is bringing the Beyond Meat back to restaurants in 70 locations. This includes select cities such as Charlotte, Belmont, Salisbury, Lincolnton, Mint Hill, Davidson, and Nashville.

For anyone who missed the initial launch, KFC plans to expand this release even longer than the single day. The Beyond Chicken will be available from Feb. 2 through Feb. 23 while supplies last. During this time, you can order your vegan chicken with a dipping sauce or tossed in Honey BBQ, Buffalo, or Nashville Hot Sauce. They come in either 4-pieces, 12-pieces, or as combo options on the menu.

Fast Food

Taco Bell Quietly Launched Their Own Plant-Based Meat Alternative

Photo by Isai Rocha/Foodbeast

Taco Bell’s ingredients have always been pretty vegetarian-friendly, but at a time where it seems that everyone in fast food is trying to incorporate plant-based meats, Taco Bell has, for the most part, stayed away from that conversation.

In fact, the taco chain even doubled down earlier this year, as it launched an official vegetarian menu, which basically consisted of already existing ingredients, sans meat.

We pressed them in the past, asking if they were ever going to join the plant-based meat trend, and they always respectfully brushed off the idea.

Well, they’ve been full of it, and apparently already had a meat substitute overseas.

It’s called the “Oatrageous Taco,” and can be found at Taco Bell locations in Finland and Spain.

Photo by Isai Rocha/Foodbeast

The proprietary blend consists of pulled oats, legumes and Taco Bell seasonings, and can be used as a meat substitute in any of its menu items.

While many fast food chains have opted for Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods, Taco Bell has opted for the lesser-known European-based alternative.

Taco Bell director of product development, Steven Gomez, said that the oat-based tacos are now a permanent item in Finnish and Spanish Taco Bell restaurants, and they have plans to expand the meat across Europe by summer 2020.

When asked if this plant-based alternative could potentially work in an American market, Gomez said, “Never say ‘never,'” which is exciting to hear for those in the U.S. who have been hoping for a new plant-based alternative to meat.

Photo provided by Taco Bell

While the international market is still young for Taco Bell, it’s good to note that it has impacted the U.S. menu before with the Nacho Fries. The fries that launched in 2017 were initially launched overseas, and was a staple in other countries around the world before they were even thought about a release in the U.S.

With the plant-based movement growing at a rapid pace in the U.S., it’s hard to think that Taco Bell wouldn’t want to bring something different to the table.

The Oatrageous meat substitute is already taking off in Europe, and we shouldn’t be surprised if that’s the direction they take in the U.S. soon.

Deals Plant-Based Restaurants

Denny’s Begins Serving Beyond Burgers

Last week, Dunkin’ Donuts announced the introduction of plant-based protein Beyond Meat to their menus in the form of new breakfast ‘sausage’ sandwiches. Now, another major chain has revealed that they’ve been cooking something up with Beyond, and it looks to be the first family diner chain to do so.

Denny’s has announced that they will begin serving Beyond Burgers at their restaurant locations.

The new meatless protein option will be available at all Los Angeles locations of Denny’s as of today. It features a 100% plant-based Beyond Burger patty that’s topped with sliced tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, American cheese, and Denny’s All-American sauce on a multigrain bun.

In honor of the new menu addition, Denny’s will be giving away free Beyond Burgers (with the purchase of any beverage) on Halloween Night from 4pm to 7pm. Anyone in the Los Angeles area looking for some plant-based sustenance during their night of spookiness will definitely want to check it out.

While they will only be served at LA locations, Denny’s plans to give Beyond Burgers a nationwide launch in 2020.

Full disclosure, I own a share of Beyond Meat.

Fast Food Hit-Or-Miss What's New

Dunkin’ Launching Beyond Meat ‘Sausage’ Sandwich Nationwide

Photo Curtesy of Dunkin’

Like it or not, the plant-based meat revolution keeps getting stronger, and Dunkin’s new sandwich is keeping it rolling.

After announcing its collaboration with Beyond Meat back in July, Dunkin’ has now said that they’ll be officially launching their plant-based Beyond Sausage Sandwich nationwide, starting November 6.

The sandwich contains Beyond Meat’s 100% plant-based sausage, American cheese and an egg, all inside a buttery muffin.

It’s important to note that the Beyond Breakfast Sausage isn’t a vegan option, as everything outside of the sausage contains either egg or dairy.

As Foodbeast reported back in July, the muffin was being tested out in Manhattan, New York, and apparently did well enough for it to launch nationwide.

While a lot of fast food restaurants have launched plant-based burgers, Dunkin’ is believed to be the first major fast food chain to go the breakfast route.

“We are extremely proud of our partnership with Beyond Meat and thrilled to be the first U.S. quick service restaurant to offer Beyond Breakfast Sausage nationwide,” Dave Hoffman, CEO of Dunkin U.S. said.