New investment in Columbia, Missouri to expand Beyond Meat capacity, add 250 jobs
Beyond Meat indicates it has more than tripled production capacity in Columbia, Mo. with a second plant. Its new plant will expand Beyond Meat’s manufacturing footprint from 30,000 to 100,000 square feet and add 250 new jobs in the area in 2018, according to a company statement. Beyond Meat produces plant-based proteins for a variety of customers, including consumers, restaurants, retailers, and foodservice operations.
Its Beyond Burger mimics the color and cooking characteristics of a real burger, while solely using plant-derived ingredients and is made without gluten, soy or GMOs. Beyond Meat has also recently added Beyond Sausage, another plant-based meat-alternative (“faux meat”) product.
Beyond Burger is now available in more than 10,000 restaurants, increasing the distribution of Beyond Meat to outlets totaling more than 30,000 restaurants and retailers. Beyond Meat’s overall footprint is boosted by general consumer interest in plant-based proteins and its penetration in foodservice. Consultancy Baum & Whiteman identified plant-based proteins as a top food trend for 2018.
As for restaurants, research firm NPD reports that plant-based protein shipments to independent restaurant companies (one to two units) and “micro chains” (19 locations or fewer) from broadline distributors saw a 19 percent growth as of March 2018. This increase is for the trailing 12-month period, compared to the comparable, prior-year period.
“Our expanded 100,000 square foot manufacturing footprint will provide the scale we need to service our rapidly growing retail, foodservice and international customer base.” said Mark Nelson, Beyond Meat CFO and COO. Beyond Meat’s strategy in mimicking real meat will appeal to consumers who are meat eaters and are also looking for good taste. Mintel, a research firm, found that taste is a top driver of interest in plant-based proteins among U.S. consumers (52 percent of adults surveyed).
Photo credit: Beyond Meat (top, inline photos)