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Beyond Meat CEO Says Company Only Aligns With 'Marquee Players'

Beyond Meat CEO Says Company Only Aligns With 'Marquee Players'

Plant-based food maker Beyond Meat Inc (NASDAQ: BYND) is far from the only player in the game, but the company differentiates itself by only aligning with "marquee players," CEO Ethan Brown said during a Bloomberg interview.

Only The Best Partners

When Beyond Meat was ready to expand into the grocery retail sector in 2009, it decided to do so at first with Whole Foods, Brown said.

The same thinking holds true today as the market evolves to the fast food industry, the CEO said. Under Brown's leadership, Beyond Meat is looking to serve only the "very best partners in the space," he said. 

The market is split roughly equal in terms of serving customers at grocery stores and in restaurants, Brown said. 

Beyond Big Macs 

One of the restaurant initiatives underway is the testing of a sandwich at select McDonald's Corp (NYSE: MCD) locations in Canada. This completes a dream Brown had for some time of Beyond Meat products being featured in McDonald's, the CEO said. 

While Brown said he can't comment on the initiative beyond what McDonald's Canada has already said, the CEO said he is "very enthusiastic about the relationship."

It will be up to McDonald's if they want to expand a test phase into the U.S, he said. 

Bringing Plant-Based Meat To China 

Beyond Meat is "aggressive in each market" in which it operates, and China will be no exception, Brown said.

The company plans on moving "with speed" to exploit its global first-mover advantage, he said.

While the company cannot share any specific plans for China at this time, Brown said he is "very excited about that market" and "very active in our plans."  

CEO: Don't Give Up Meat

Beyond Meat's purpose is not to convince the public to stop eating meat. That would be a "big mistake," the CEO said.

"I grew up eating meat. I love meat. I love fried chicken. I love burgers."

A Beyond Meat spokeswoman said in an email to Benzinga that Brown is a longtime vegan. 

Brown's company strives to provide a "better form of meat" that offers the same recognizable taste but is also healthy for consumers and the planet, he said. 

"We don't think we have to denigrate animal protein," the CEO said. "We simply have to provide the consumer with a new and better choice and let them make the decision."

Beyond Meat shares were trading 3.46% higher at $76.15 at the time of publication Tuesday. 

Related Links:

Nebraska Senator Introduces The Real MEAT Act In Pushback Against 'Phony Meat'

McDonald's Canada Boss: We Will Always Be Known For Beef

Photo courtesy of Beyond Meat. 


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Posted-In: Bloomberg Ethan Brown food Plant FoodNews Restaurants Media General Best of Benzinga

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