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rotuts

Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, etc.

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Ive become interest in the Beyond Meat ' business model ' , as economics interest me from time to time.

 

both Beyond Meat and impossible Foods show up in the business section off both the WSJ and NYT.

 

on a british show I follow when I can , FoodUnwrapped , they grilled BYND  burgers , which seem to come preformed

 

for a crowd of ' Ranchers ' in CA.   they all loved the BYND meat burgers . or so they claimed.

 

as far as I understand it , both these companies want to mimiic meat as closely as possible

 

as the see a market for those who love the taste of beef , but what to consume less.

 

for many reasons ;  Health , environment , etc

 

that's different than the market for a Veggie Burger possible , as the articles point out

 

many Vegetarians can't stand the flavor of meat.

 

here are a few articles Ive found interesting :

 

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/meatless-future-vegan-delusions-beyond-080136873.html

 

note BYND stock :

 

BM.jpg.d8befd3b47fa97217a3e16abe1780a97.jpg

 

stock price is a matter of public interest , possible to accumulate wealth down the line.

 

Impossible Foods has not done an IPO I believe 

 

https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/06/02/5-start-ups-eager-to-follow-in-beyond-meats-footst.aspx

 

in my area the BYND meat burgers are very scarce   I can't say what arty of two costs.

 

fresh burger , ground frequently at a high end grocery chain near me  ( Roche Brothers )

 

is currently $ 7.00 / lb for 85 / 15.  If I want a burger, Id get this , enough for two burgers  as it a service meat counter

 

and Id be comfortable cooking this rare.

 

has anyone tried BYND burger ?   had a burger in a restaurant made from IF's meat ?

 

I have not looked into the details , but Im skeptical that BYND meat burgers are that much ' healthier "

 

now that in the new version they seem to have added saturated coconut oil in bits to mimic beef fat.

 

MegaloMarts  such as  Tyson are moving in a Meat / veg combo concoction , not all vegetarian.

 

thoughs ?

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I haven't had the Beyond, but I've had the Impossible a couple of times in tacos and burritos. The texture is very good, at least in those applications, and I'd say the flavor is good, though I don't think you'd confuse it for beef. It's just that it hits similar flavor notes and works in the same sort of applications. From an pricing perspective, the Qdoba Impossible Burrito is about $10 where I live, while the ground beef burrito is $8. I have no idea what their production costs are, but if they can sell the stuff here in prime cattle country (Oklahoma) they must be doing well.

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Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I've eaten them twice, in two different restaurants.  Strictly out of curiosity.

The taste of the Impossible burger reminds me of the standard Mickey D's small hamburger.   A meatish tasting filling surrounded by a bunch of bread.  Then the condiments add the satisfying flavor.  

 

Both times, afterward, my digestive system was not happy with me.   Not sure if there's a ton of fiber in the Impossible but twice is a pattern for me.  For this product, I am not their demographic.   I have not compared notes since I don't know anyone else who has eaten one in my circle yet.

 

They were $12-$15 at each of the restaurants.  Overpriced in my opinion.  One place offered no sides with that price.

 

Hillstone's has their own veggie-based burger offering, expensive at ~$22 but an excellent dish not mass produced.   Again, I tried it out of curiousity.  I am a devout carnivore, but open minded.

 

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Posted (edited)

@Chris Hennes

 

thank you.  very interesting 

 

@lemniscate

 

thank you for your insight

 

Im also curious , but not for an investment nor personal gain.

 


Edited by rotuts (log)

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Posted (edited)

I'm not a customer, I eat meat but very little beef (I only buy it in the forms of pho, jerky, and pepperoni) and never crave a burger, just never cared for the texture of ground beef.   But there is definitely a market, lots of people do crave burgers but might want another choice for various reasons. 

 

Investment-wise, I think it's worth keeping an eye on.  Can they scale up quickly enough to satisfy fast-food demand?  Are they currently profitable or expecting to be soon? 

 

It's only been 2 months, but Schwab gives BYND an F grade (strongly underperform).  Risky but possibility for high reward if they can pull it off? 


Edited by pastrygirl (log)

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@pastrygirl

 

thank you

 

I hope I did not imply investment in any way.

 

I enjoy following certain HoopLa

 

and no more

 

I was wondering about a 

 

very small investment

 

dans le mouth and farther along down that path.

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It'll be an interesting one to watch.  AMZN wasn't profitable for years but look at them now.  Of course, few people are as driven as Jeff Bezos 🤑

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Posted (edited)

@pastrygirl

 

thanks

 

JB is an interesting person

 

for me , understanding a bit

 

the WF purchase 

 

is an interring Food related item I loosely folly

 

we sill see.

 

what do I know ?

 

WF is not Discount Book

 

delivered  instantaneously 


Edited by rotuts (log)

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I have had both. Beyond Burgers are very filling and in my opinion one of the best premade veggie burgers you can buy.  I still prefer homemade to Beyond though. I like mushroom burgers, black bean burgers, and tuna or salmon burgers more.

 

I have only had an impossible burger once. I have not eaten red meat in over 30 years (just personal preference). To me, an impossible burger fits my memory of what a McDonald’s quality burger tastes like. I found it a little off putting.  My nephew, who eats red meat, has ordered impossible burgers many times at restaurants. He enjoys the taste but says they do not taste like beef. His opinion is probably more valid than mine. 

 

Of the two burgers, I think carnivores will find the impossible burger more appealing. The Beyond Burger does not have the texture or flavor of beef (and it does not smell good when raw FYI).

 

Rotuts, from prior comments of yours I think we live near to each other and possibly shop at the same grocery stores.  You can can find the Beyond products at Wegmans Westwood and Whole Foods Dedham.  I do not think that Roche Bros. stocks them at this time. 

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Posted (edited)

I had a Beyond Meat at Carl's Jr several months ago.    I liked it.    I don't order hamburger at fast food places.    Accompanying DH on cross country drives, I am satisfied with veggie burger (I swear that I have ordered the only veggie burger in stock at many of these places, certainly in France on a Monday when everything else in the village was locked up tight,)  or a fish"burger".    To me, it's mostly in the quality of the bun, condiments and veggies.    That said, the Beyond Meat was very good IMHO.    I would order it again in the same circumstances.   My only complaint was that it was BIG!     AIR, it was around or under $5.

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ETA, as someone who is not risk averse, I wouldn't be above picking up a token amount of the stock.    


Edited by Margaret Pilgrim (log)

eGullet member #80.

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7 minutes ago, liamsaunt said:

I like mushroom burgers, black bean burgers, and tuna or salmon burgers more

 

Seriously this!   I will pick a portobello "burger" or a Ahi tuna burger (perferably Hopdoddy's) even over ground beef burgers.

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We are talking a huge range of distribution here, from fast food to upscale franchises and stand-alone restaurants.     I'd say lots of opportunity as long as they fit the dietary and budget mark for each level's customer and the profit needs of the house.


eGullet member #80.

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I'll confess to a lively curiosity about these products, despite being a cheerful omnivore.

 

The Beyond Burger is available at every Canadian A&W (very different from the American chain of the same name), and their breakfast sausage is available in sandwiches from both A&W and Tim Horton's. I've eaten the burger, and found it to be unexceptional. I think for most people, if it was placed in a generic burger wrapper (ie, clearly "not a chain you know") and served to a crowd as a burger from the local place, it would pass unremarked as just another fast food burger. The texture and flavor are a little "off," but no more so than in many actual burgers I've eaten.

 

The sausage I tried at Tim's on my recent road trip, and found it to be a bit heavy on the pepper. Otherwise, my impression was much the same...texture is not quite right, but if served to someone without explanation it would pass unremarked as a breakfast sandwich like any other. Both chains sell the Beyond product at a modest premium over its conventional equivalents, a buck or so for the sausage (IIRC) and something like $1.50 for the burger.

 

The Sobey's supermarket chain sells a package of two Beyond patties for $7.99, which is a bit steep. The rival chain, Loblaw's, sells its own house-branded beefless burger at 4/$8.99 right now. They're a bit squishier than the Beyond, but otherwise fairly comparable. Another brand, True Life, sells at 4/$7.99 and I will try those at some point as well and report back.

 

I haven't seen the Impossible product anywhere, but will try it whenever an opportunity should present itself.

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"The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself."

Ursula K. Le Guin

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

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I eat Beyond Burgers whenever I get a hankering for a burger (maybe once a month or so) and I do like them very much. For me they do not taste like beef (a flavor for which I do not care so much), but they satisfy a desire for the good kind of greasiness a nice fatty burger can have. I totally agree with @lemniscate that it is all about the condiments (de rigueur for me are cheese, mayo, tomato, dill pickles and mustard). I have also used them as a kind of salisbury steak substitute, which works reasonably well. I just picked up a package of the reformulated burger, augmented with coconut oil and cocoa butter if I am not mistaken, which I took to a barbecue yesterday where the main meal was hamburgers and hot dogs. I do not have a charcoal grill so it was the first time I had eaten one of these burgers cooked over coals and I have to say it was absolutely delicious, though I do not know how much of that was down to the perfection of the day in general, the quality of the burger itself, or that lovely charcoal grilled taste.

 

I also keep their hot Italian sausage in the freezer and will cook one every now and then to eat with fried peppers, onions and cheese. Nice fennel taste and a bit of a bite, and an oiliness that works for me. I do not love the texture, which can be a bit mushier or mealier than I like (though meat-based sausage textures were not something I cared for when I did eat meat).

 

Beyond is now selling a straightforward ground beef substitute that can be used in meatloaf or other dishes where the usual frozen crumbles would not work. I picked up a package and am planning to use it for taco filling this weekend. Hoping it works better for that than Morningstar or other crumbles, which always smack of soy to me in a not entirely pleasant way. I will say I am looking forward to a nice meatloaf when the weather cools down.

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Patty

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1 hour ago, patris said:

I eat Beyond Burgers whenever I get a hankering for a burger

 

I think this is a very important and qualifying comment.    I have never craved a burger.    A burger is something that is of the moment, usually the feature at a party or a stop.    I make them for family when requested, at which times I usually just make myself a big hockey puck that I cook rare and slather with a few condiments, no bun, totally knife and fork.

 

So since I don't eat ground meat away from home and am confronted with a road-trip menu, I can easily find comfort in a once or twice yearly Beyond Burger.    As I wrote, even at that low end of the scale, eg, Carl's Jr. they are quite decent.

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eGullet member #80.

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I must say i am a little bemused by all the effort to create "artificial meat".

I do understand, that in order to increase the efficiency of beef you may want to grow beef apart from a beast.

Processing protein into something edible is one thing, attempting to pass it off as beef is quite another. Call it what it is, processed protein, not artificial beef.

 

But, like vegan sausages, vegan burgers, now meat substitutes seem to me to be trying to piggy back on the reputation of meat. If you don't want to eat meat, don't eat it. Why is it necessary to try and make a "substitute"?

 

I think I tried a very early version of the product and found it different, it had some of the texture of some beef, but the flavor was well off. The fats/oil within the product itself was far different to beef fat and so even with the usual added condiments, the overall flavor was odd.

Then again what we all recognize as "beef" taste is more than likely the maillard reaction transforming amino acids & sugars into the lovely "browning" on that steak

 

I guess the market does the same for a lot of snack foods (chips that are not potato, curly yellow things that are actually modified soy protein colored orange or yellow), so a clever marketing campaign could make the product viable, but not as a beef substitute, its just not close enough (yet).

 

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36 minutes ago, Bernie said:

I must say i am a little bemused by all the effort to create "artificial meat".

 

We seem to be living in a world of artificial products.    Whether for reasons of diet, ecology, cost, other philosophical reasons, there are many traditional products that have fallen out of favor with specific groups.    And as rotuts suggests, there are economic opportunities with these new offerings.    As in all new ideas, their economic success will depend on many factors that have little to do with your or my opinion of the product.    As opportunity, faux meat will probably have great potential.    It's a question of whether or not it's THIS faux meat.

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eGullet member #80.

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8 hours ago, Bernie said:

I must say i am a little bemused by all the effort to create "artificial meat".

I do understand, that in order to increase the efficiency of beef you may want to grow beef apart from a beast.

Processing protein into something edible is one thing, attempting to pass it off as beef is quite another. Call it what it is, processed protein, not artificial beef.

 

But, like vegan sausages, vegan burgers, now meat substitutes seem to me to be trying to piggy back on the reputation of meat. If you don't want to eat meat, don't eat it. Why is it necessary to try and make a "substitute"?

 

From what I've seen in interviews with the respective companies' founders, the Beyond and Impossible products aren't aimed squarely at vegetarians/vegans in the same way as soy hot dogs, "tofurkey" and their ilk (I've never had it, but my favorite example of that style is Canadian brand Yves' "Lack of Ram").

 

Instead, while certainly meeting the needs of vegans and such, these are marketed squarely at the mainstream omnivore in much the same fashion as the "Meatless Monday" campaign. I suppose you could say it's the culinary equivalent of replacing one's light bulbs with high-efficiency LEDs...something that feels virtuous, yet requires little/no commitment or lifestyle change. Meat production in general and beef production specifically have a large carbon footprint, so any reduction is a positive.

 

The startups attempting to "grow beef apart from a beast" are something else again. They're not plant-based, as Beyond and Impossible are. They're growing actual beef (or chicken, or whatever) through a laboratory process. Some - most notably the beef industry - argue that it is not beef, by definition, if it was not once a legit, walking/mooing cow. That's a semantic/economic argument, not a scientific one, since the cells are indistinguishable under the microscope and the original source material comes from an actual cow.

 

Whether those products eventually prove to be economically viable is a whole other story, of course, and will require greatly improved production methods and (crucially) consumer acceptance. I'm interested to see how that plays out, if the product comes to market. There are many who avoid meat entirely for ethical/environmental reasons, or who limit their consumption to ethically raised animals from farmers they trust. Cultured meat will be innately cruelty-free, so if it also proves to be more environmentally friendly than commercial beef production there certainly could be a market for it.

In fact, IIRC, I posed that very question to vegetarians/meat avoiders here on eG a couple of years ago.

I don't know how many of you have read Thomas Watson Jr.'s memoir of his years at IBM, called "Father and Son and Company." One of the turning points in the book, and indeed in IBM's history, came in the immediate postwar years when the first electronic computers came along. His father, Watson Sr, was ready to launch a scorched-earth campaign against them in order to protect IBM's dominance in the punch-card technology of the day. Tom Jr. had another idea...IBM should build its own computers, and leverage their deep knowledge of the business community's wants and needs (and of course, its own well-entrenched distribution channel) to out-do the offerings from other vendors. We all know how that played out.

 

For those who haven't been keeping score at home, wanna know some of the recent big investors in those cultured meat startups? Perdue...Cargill...ADM. You may recognize a pattern here (for the record, it's also a subsidiary of Shell Oil - not Elon Musk's Tesla - that currently provides most of the battery storage capacity for solar/wind generation plants...another example of the "Watson principle" at work).

It's by no means inevitable, but there is certainly a prospect that cultured meats may one day be as unremarkable as cultured pearls, or the tank-grown rennet used in much of North America's mainstream cheese.

 

 

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"The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself."

Ursula K. Le Guin

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

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very interesting discussion.

 

thank you for your input.

 

Ill check the local Wegman's , in the Maul.

 

after the heatwave.   I might get a pack , if they have the newer version of Beyond Meat

 

look forward to those morsels of hydrogenated coconut oil

 

yum yum

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10 hours ago, chromedome said:

It's by no means inevitable, but there is certainly a prospect that cultured meats may one day be as unremarkable as cultured pearls, or the tank-grown rennet used in much of North America's mainstream cheese.

 

Probably dead right about cultured meats.

My point was not that they were particularly marketed at vegetarians or vegans, but they were marketed with the aim of getting acceptance AS meat. I am sure we could add all sorts of chemicals to bread to make it taste like meat (yuk!) but it will still be bread.

These are not cultured meats however, whatever the marketing may say, they are still be cultured protein (animal, vegetable or Soylent green) not meat.

 

You are dead right about the light bulbs. In Australia, it was mandated that new houses were to be fitted with energy saving Compact Fluorescent light bulbs. Well they cost 10 times as much, last only a fraction as long (they grow dimmer with age) and are environmentally very unfriendly as you can not dispose of them to landfill and can't recycle them. Thank goodness LED's came along. But it give the Greenies  that warm fuzzy feeling you get from helping the planet, even if you weren't and your logic was totally wrong.

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IMHO it's just another dining and dietary option.    Like chicken, fish or beans.    As I see it, it is being honestly labeled and marketed.   Think of it as an option for other people like many other food items that don't appeal to you... or me.   

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eGullet member #80.

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13 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

IMHO it's just another dining and dietary option.    Like chicken, fish or beans.    As I see it, it is being honestly labeled and marketed.   Think of it as an option for other people like many other food items that don't appeal to you... or me.   

Yeah, that. :)

Harking back to a question posed by the OP, I know some vegetarians/vegans who were raised that way by like-minded parents, but most switched from omnivory for whatever combination of reasons at some point from adolescence through (sometimes late) adulthood. Avoidance of anything meat-like would be simple enough, I suppose, for anyone who grew up without it.

For someone who has formerly enjoyed the same comfort foods as the rest of us, I can see the appeal of a "good enough" simulation to scratch that itch when it strikes.

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"The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself."

Ursula K. Le Guin

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

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CBS this morning right now interviewed the scientist who developed the Impossible Burger and also interviewed the folks growing meat in the laboratory.  Very interesting stuff.

Wish I had known Beyond Meat was going public...

 


Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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For those of us with an IKEA around, their meatballs are the THING at their cafeteria, but I do not like them.  I have found I really like their vegetable balls ALLEMANSRÄTTEN.  Those are super tasty, not trying to be a meat substitute, and go in pretty much any dish you would use meatballs in.  Just a straight up vegetable product.  I've "converted' several people to eat these just due to the flavor.    I think they would make a good fake burger patty product.

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Disclaimer: there are plenty of restaurants in Hong Kong that offer Beyond Meat burgers or Impossible burger ... I never had the slightest desire to try. Reading through all of this, at least I thought Incould give it a try.

 

So, tonight while frequenting the Cathay lounge before my flight to Germany I stumbled upon the Beyond Meat burger ... it might have been catalysed by some whiskey highball, but we can’t be sure.

 

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It was ok. Juicy, umami, texture a bit like store-bought mince beef, compressed to a patty. With the adequate condiments an OK burger. The olive oil brushed brioche bun surely helped as well ...

 

It scratched an itch, but it kept itching. Wagyu cheese burger did the rest 😋

 

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