Manchester-based The Authentic Food Co. (TAFC) have announced a partnership with American brand Beyond Meat®, securing an exclusive distribution deal to bring its juggernaut plant-protein product, ‘The Beyond Burger’ to the UK grocery/foodservice market for the first time.
As a leading innovator in plant-based meat products with backing from Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Beyond Meat’s mission is to create mass-market solutions that replace animal protein with plant-protein. Using its world-class team of researchers and food scientists, the brand has created a cutting-edge process that combines each of its plant-based ingredients to deliver against the unique texture of meat, by braiding together proteins, fats and minerals.
Using this industry-leading method, the company has developed ‘The Beyond Burger,’ the world’s only burger that looks, cooks, and tastes like ground beef from cows but is made entirely from plants, without GMOs, soy, or gluten. Crafted with simple plant-based ingredients, applied in fresh ways, The Beyond Burger has more protein than a beef burger, with less saturated and total fat.
With UK consumers eating on average -6.55 per cent less meat than a year ago, the distribution deal will help grocery/foodservice operators tap into the growing trend for meat reduction. The movement is expected to explode over the coming years as more people look to reduce meat in their diet and seek out substitute products from brands like Beyond Meat.
The move follows TAFC’s recent venture into the plant-based market, having announced earlier this year its partnership with Stockport-based chef Matt Nutter, to develop a vegan range for grocery/foodservice.
Speaking about the partnership with The Authentic Food Co., Ethan Brown, Founder and CEO at Beyond Meat said: “At Beyond Meat, we’re dedicated to perfectly building meat from plants. By creating great tasting products that are better for people and the planet, we are enabling consumers to eat more of the things they love, not less. The partnership with The Authentic Food Co. is an exciting opportunity for us to bring our flagship product, The Beyond Burger, to consumers across the pond.”
The partnership represents the next major step into plant-based foods following the recruitment of vegan chef Matthew Nutter earlier this year.
Nik Basran, CEO of TAFC added: “Our focus for 2018 is to bring more quality, flavour and choice for consumers looking for plant-based products. Matt has brought in lots of new ideas and thinking around plant based food and the possibilities it can give consumers, with the obvious health and environmental benefits while not compromising on great taste.
“Beyond Meat is a fantastic addition to our range as they are leading the plant-based burger revolution started in the US so they already have a great product and brand we can now offer to our grocery/foodservice customers in the UK.
“They have doubled sales in the US in 2017 and are increasing distribution to more than 25,000 grocery stores and restaurants, highlighting the opportunity it presents to our UK customers. As a meat lover I can confirm The Beyond Burger tastes fantastic and we’ve got some very exciting plans in the pipeline that we’ll be announcing in summer.”