Crispy plant-based bacon is the alternative protein ‘holy grail’

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Credit: Toss Your Own Salad
Credit: Toss Your Own Salad

[Beyond Meat’s] burgers, meatballs, sausage links and other plant-based meat products are projected to generate more than $500 million in world-wide sales this year. 

WSJ: You’re developing a plant-based burger with McDonald’s, and you have partnerships with PepsiCo and Yum Brands, which owns Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC. What’s the measure of success for Beyond?

[Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown]: It’s a ubiquitous presence we’re most after—that you can go into a McDonald’s and get a Beyond product, or KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and it is seamless for people who want to transition toward a plant-based meat. We have to make the product indistinguishable from animal protein. We have a lot of miles left before we get there.

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WSJ: What’s the holy grail in terms of products you haven’t yet developed?

Mr. Brown: The real test for us is to make each of our platforms—beef, pork and poultry—indistinguishable from animal protein. How do you make a raw chicken breast with the translucent skin, the color transition that occurs? Steak, given its distribution of fat and protein, and, of course, bacon? Those three things are the holy grail.

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