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Beyond Meat is launching a 'meatier' version of its plant-based burger

Key Points
  • Beyond Meat is launching a "meatier" version of its plant-based Beyond Burger in stores this week.
  • The new formula, which more closely mimics the texture of beef, comes as Tyson Foods and Nestle prepare to launch their own plant-based meat alternatives.
  • Retail makes up roughly half of Beyond's business.
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Beyond Meat making even 'meatier' plant-based burger

Beyond Meat is launching a new, "meatier" version of its plant-based burger in stores this week.

Tuesday's announcement comes as the $1.44 billion market for meat substitutes prepares for new entries from companies like Nestle and Tyson Foods.

The newest Beyond Burger formula includes a mix of proteins — pea, mung beans and rice — so that the vegan burger qualifies as a "complete protein" with all essential amino acids. The vegan burger will also have a slightly different texture as a result.

Cocoa butter and coconut oil are used to create a marbling and texture that more closely mimics real beef. The latest iteration of the patty also includes apple extract that changes the color of the plant-based meat substitute from red to brown when it's cooked.

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Retail makes up roughly half of Beyond's business, accounting for $19.6 million in revenue during its first quarter. Retail sales have more than doubled in the last year. Beyond's food service revenue has increased by 491% from a year ago, thanks to restaurant chains like Carl's Jr. and Del Taco adding Beyond to their menus.

Investors have driven up Beyond Meat's stock price, making it the most successful IPO of the year. As of Monday's close, the stock has surged 572% since its debut last month, giving it a market value of $10.1 billion.

However, ahead of Tuesday's announcement, shares of Beyond Meat were trading falling after J.P. Morgan downgraded the stock. In mid-morning trading, shares were down more than 20%. The firm, which had been the lead underwriter for the IPO, said Monday's stock closing just shy of $170 was "beyond our price target" of $120. Tuesday's sell-off put shares at around $135.

The company expects its new Beyond Burger will be available by the end of the month in all stores nationwide that carry Beyond Meat products. Product pricing wasn't immediately available.

This isn't the first time Beyond has tweaked its formula. Six months ago, the company launched its Beyond Burger 2.0 in restaurants. However, the unveiling landed with less fanfare than Impossible Foods' new and improved burger, which took the top prize at the Consumer Electronics Show that month.

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