Plant-based meat specialists Beyond Meat is building a new 26,000 square foot research and development centre at its headquarters in El Segundo, LA.
The new facility will house more than 100 employees, and is the new home to Beyond Meat’s Manhattan Beach Project, the company’s on-going initiative to “perfectly build a piece of meat directly from plants”.
“The expansion of the Manhattan Beach Project here in Los Angeles reflects our belief that building meat from plants is an opportunity of global importance, one that is deserving of investment levels consistent with what you’d find in alternative energy or health sciences, sectors with which we certainly share common goals,” said Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat CEO and founder.
“We are seeing a record number of consumers expressing interest in a broader set of protein choices; to these consumers, it is our brand promise to enable them to eat what they love, from burgers to sausage, while feeling great about related health and environmental implications. The new center is designed to help us fulfill that promise to the best of our abilities.”
The centre is seven-times the size of the existing facilities and will serve as the foundation of Beyond Meat’s commitment to innovation through accelerated experimentation, learnings, and progress toward the goal of building plant-based meat that is indistinguishable from its animal-based equivalent.
“We are leaving no stone unturned in our efforts to perfectly build meat directly from plant materials, using only natural ingredients and without genetic modification,” said Dr Dariush Ajami, who leads Research and Development at Beyond Meat.
“The breadth of processes and technologies we are bringing in-house supports the company’s focus on rapid innovation, in some cases reducing timelines by half,”
Complementing the efforts on the R&D side will be a cutting-edge gourmet kitchen to host chefs and culinary experts, as well as a formal sensory space for real-time consumer testing and panels. Keeping a close pulse on shifting consumer preferences and trends will allow Beyond Meat to stay at the forefront of producing cutting edge products.