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UPDATE 1-Blue Apron beefs up menus with Beyond Meat burgers, shares rise

(Adds comment from company, background, share price)

July 16 (Reuters) - Blue Apron Holdings Inc said on Tuesday it would include Beyond Meat Inc's plant-based burgers on its menus from next month, a bet on the growing popularity of meat alternatives that sent the meal kit delivery firm's shares up 11%.

California-based Beyond Meat is the U.S. stock market's poster child for a swing towards plant-based substitutes that has come courtesy of a rise in the number of Americans choosing vegan or vegetarian diets on environmental or health grounds.

It has already signed deals with U.S.-based Del Taco to include its plant-based crumbles in the Mexican food chain's vegan tacos, while burger chain Carl Jr has a Beyond Meat cheeseburger.

Blue Apron said its Signature Two-Serving Plan - a curated meal plan subscription - would now include recipes using the Beyond Burger, a four-ounce patty with 20 grams of plant-based protein, which does not contain genetically modified organisms, soy, or gluten.

"We know a growing number of customers are interested in plant-based proteins, whether as an alternative to meat, a desire to explore a new ingredient, or an opportunity to make more sustainable food choices," Blue Apron Chief Executive Officer Linda Kozlowski said in a statement.

Shares in Blue Apron rose 11% while those in Beyond Meat were up 1% on Tuesday morning.

Analysts estimate that the U.S. alternative meat market will be worth $100 billion by 2035, as consumers seek to reduce meat consumption amid growing concerns over health risks and environmental hazards of industrial animal farming. (Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)