Beyond Meat Opens Doors of New State-of-the-Art Innovation Center
- by Lillie Apostolos
LOS ANGELES, CA - The Future of Protein™ is here—well, in Los Angeles. Beyond Meat recently announced that its new 26,000-square-foot research and development center at its headquarters is now open.
At the facility, 100 employees are working on the company’s Manhattan Beach Project, where leading scientists, engineers, food technologists, chefs, and managers in service create the plant-based meats. The new Innovation Center is seven times the size of its existing location and will support the company’s Rapid & Relentless Innovation initiative, which seeks to highlight its products to such an extent that Beyond Meat products are indistinguishable from animal protein.
“The use of science and technology to build meat directly from plants, coupled with a commitment to all natural and non-GMO ingredients, is the core of our company. At Beyond Meat, we strive to understand meat at new levels, and then rebuild it using amino acids, lipids, and minerals from plants. What the animal has done throughout history—organize plant material in the form of muscle or meat—we believe we can do more efficiently to the benefit of human health, the environment and animal welfare,” said Ethan Brown, CEO and Founder. “The path to the perfect build of meat from plants is both long and steep, but with every iteration we are getting closer and closer. I am so pleased to join our special group of scientists, engineers, chefs, and managers in announcing the opening of our new state-of-the-art innovation center.”
The new facility will be separated into eight distinct labs and footprints, which focus on consumer engagement and learnings. The goal for the new facility is to improve the marketplace on an annual basis through rapid innovation.
“The new home to the Manhattan Beach Project allows us to reimagine the use of existing technologies for a better understanding of the complexity of meat,” said Dr. Dariush Ajami, Vice President of Research & Development. “The Innovation Center gives us a leg up, as we apply this knowledge in our efforts to perfectly build meat directly from plant materials, using only natural ingredients and without genetic modification.”
A gourmet-style kitchen will be made available for chefs and culinary experts to experiment with Beyond Meat products and create new products like the Beyond Breakfast Sausage that recently debuted. Another 50 new jobs with the Manhattan Beach Project will be made available over the course of the next year. The company is tapping into universities and research centers in the U.S. and abroad to find the the best fit talent for its crew of scientists and engineers.
DeAndre Hopkins, a top NFL wide receiver, recently signed on board to invest in the company, showing it is gaining wide-spread popularity with heavy-hitting influencers. Hopkins attended the company’s ribbon cutting for the new facility on the 19th.
“Beyond Meat’s products are a gamechanger, and I’m honored to be here today, as we mark this important milestone in the company’s history,” commented Hopkins.
Over 25 million Beyond Burgers have been sold since the company’s 2016 debut. It can be found in over 10,000 grocery stores and on the menu at around 10,000 restaurants, hotels, and universities—such as TGI Fridays, BurgerFi, Bareburger, Epic Burger, and A&W Canada, according to a press release. By the end of 2018, in fact, it wil be found on six out of seven continents and in 50 countries throughout the globe.
How will the new innovation-focused facility boost the company’s exposure and expansion moving forward? Stay tuned to see how it grows and to find out more industry news!