Wetherspoon’s added The Meatless Farm Co’s ‘fake meat’ burger to menus in October last year, following a six-month trial. However, the company has confirmed that this has now ceased and its has elected to roll out the rival product instead.
Made from the same core parts as meat – proteins, fats, carbohydrates and water – the Beyond Burger is designed to look, cook and taste like beef. The bulk of the burger is made with pea protein, beetroot gives the product a meaty red hue, while coconut oil and potato add to the juiciness and chew.
Commenting on the new addition to the Wetherspoon’s menu, head of food Jameson Robinson said: “We are always on the lookout for new and innovative products, to bring further choice and quality to our customers.
Vegans and flexitarians
“Our Beyond burger offers a great new option for vegans and vegetarians, as well as anyone wishing to reduce their meat intake, which is an ever-growing number.”
A spokesman for The Meatless Farm Co told Food Manufacture: “JD Wetherspoon has decided to take a different direction working with a US company, though it has been assured by the company that this is no reflection on the quality of Meatless Farm’s products.
“There remains a close relationship between the two thriving British businesses, and we’re sure there will be way that we can work together again. Meatless Farm is in negotiations with a number of major foodservice chains about supplying plant-based products and hope to make some announcements soon.”
The Beyond Burger is now available from all 874 Wetherspoon’s pubs in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
Bram Meijer, Beyond Meat’s regional marketing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, added: “We’re on a mission to help more people eat more of the foods they love, while enjoying the benefits of plant-based protein. We’re excited to secure our biggest listing to date and to introduce Wetherspoon customers to the delicious taste and texture of the Beyond Burger.”
Founded in 2009, Beyond Meat produces a number of meat substitutes, including chicken and sausages. The company has received funding from US food giant Tyson Foods and billionaire software mogul Bill Gates.
Its products first made their way to the UK through a partnership with The Authentic Food Company, which saw the Beyond Burger appear in retailer Tesco.
Meanwhile, as the growth of plant-based products in the UK continues to soar, so does the innovation behind their production. Dr Peter Hynes, new head of R&D at The Meatless Farm Company, discussed the challenges for the company in 2020 and beyond.