Beyond Meat Is Taking On Steak With Its Newest Product

Beyond Meat launched its newest product, Beyond Steak, into supermarkets across the country on October 24, continuing to challenge the traditional meat market even as the company is facing financial difficulties. In a press release, Beyond Meat describes Beyond Steak as "a new innovation designed to deliver the juicy, tender, and delicious bite of seared steak tips." Despite the image that the name "Beyond Steak" might conjure, this product is not a substitute for a piece of steak that can be thrown on the grill but is rather small, bite-sized pieces that would be best used in dishes like vegan-friendly fajitas, stir fry bowls, or a Philly cheesesteak, and is sold frozen in a 10-ounce package, per Vox.

In the press release, Beyond Meat touts the health benefits of its meat substitutes, noting that Beyond Steak contains 21 grams of protein per serving while also being cholesterol free and low in saturated fats– though Vox notes the plant-based option does have the disadvantage of containing 300 milligrams of sodium per serving as opposed to about 55 mg per serving of real steak. The company also prides itself on environmental sustainability since its products, which are known to taste uncannily like animal meat, are made entirely from plants. Vox reports that Beyond Steak is made from fava bean protein and wheat gluten, and noted that several of its vegetarian and omnivore reporters sampled the product and were impressed with how similar the product tasted to true beef.

New product in a changing market

Beyond Meat officially launched Beyond Steak this week to over 5,000 Walmart and Kroger stores as well as Safeway, Vons, and Jewel-Osco stores owned by Albertsons and Ahold's Giant and Stop & Shop stores (per Vox). Vox reports that the product is unique as the first to utilize "whole muscle technology," which is meant to mimic the more fibrous texture of whole cuts of meat instead of the ground-meat texture most entries to the market have utilized.

CNBC notes that new product launches have historically led to sales bumps for larger meat-substitute companies, which would be welcome at Beyond Meat. The company recently announced it would cut 19% of its workforce and its stock has dropped 80% in the last year. Much of the brand's financial trouble has been hard to avoid as falling sales have been attributed to a reduction in pandemic-era home cooking and experimentation, and inflation. While Barron's notes that prices of Beyond Meat and its competitors have not seen major price increases during the past year of record inflation, they are still more expensive than traditional meat. Vox notes that the 10-ounce package of Beyond Steak costs $7.99, 16% more than a similar package of real steak tips. Given many customers' increased cost-cutting measures, plant-based meat substitutes may have taken a backseat on the shopping list. Despite setbacks, Beyond Meat remains committed to "positively impacting four growing global issues: human health, climate change, constraints on natural resources, and animal welfare."