Last updated on February 6th, 2018 at 04:31 pm
Plant-based meat purveyor Beyond Meat is building a new 26,000-s.f. research and development center at its headquarters in El Segundo, California. The new facility will house more than 100 employees and will be the new home to Beyond Meat’s Manhattan Beach Project, an ongoing initiative to “bring the best and brightest scientists, engineers, food technologists, chefs and researchers together in service of a single goal: 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 founder and CEO. “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 center is seven times the size of the company’s existing facilities, and Beyond Meat says it “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. 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,” said Dr. Dariush Ajami, who leads research and development at Beyond Meat.
Complementing the efforts on the R&D side will be a new kitchen to host chefs and culinary experts, as well as a formal sensory space for real-time consumer testing and panels.
Based in Los Angeles, Beyond Meat is a privately held company founded in 2009 with a mission of building meat directly from plants. Spanning frozen and fresh, Beyond Meat’s portfolio of plant-based proteins is sold at more than 19,000 retail outlets nationwide.