Burgers by Beyond Meat, the company that makes fake meat from plants, will become available in select Whole Foods stores nationwide by the end of 2016.
Beyond Burger launched in two Whole Foods locations — one in Brooklyn and one in Philadelphia — on October 13. They have also been sold at certain Whole Foods in New Mexico, Idaho, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Virginia, and Maryland since September.
The California-based startup is trying to market a burger — made mostly from pea protein, yeast extract, beet juice, and coconut oil — that looks and tastes like the real thing. The company has a long line of investors, including Bill Gates.
When I tried the Beyond Burger in May, it sizzled like beef and boasted the same texture as a normal burger. Compared to other store-bought veggie burgers — which usually taste more like cardboard than meat — the Beyond Burger is the best one I’ve tried. However, it wouldn’t fool me in a blind taste test with a regular burger.
Beyond Meat’s CEO, Ethan Brown, tells Business Insider that the company hasn’t reached their ultimate goal of making a plant-based burger that mirrors beef.
“Were not there yet, but were getting closer and closer,” Brown tells Business Insider. Beyond Meat plans to come out with improved iterations of its veggie burger every year.
Brown says that he tells the startup’s scientists, who work in the company’s headquarters in El Segundo, California, that this is a “lifetime employment project.”
Beyond Meat’s biggest competitor, Impossible Foods, is also based in California and currently working toward the same goal. That startup also makes a plant-based burger, though it’s currently only available at New York City restaurant Momofoku Nishi, which is owned by acclaimed chef David Chang.
At the NYC launch party for the Beyond Burger, Brown also announced that the startup is hoping to create a plant-based bacon that’s indistinguishable from pork.
“I have a pet pig, so I have a personal stake in this,” he says.
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