The world of meat alternatives just got a whole lot more meaty. Beyond Burger, a plant-based product said to mimic the taste and texture of real beef, made its grocery store debut yesterday at a Whole Foods in Boulder, Colorado, and as the Chicago Tribune reports, the product sold out in just an hour.
Maker Beyond Meat is calling its new Beyond Burger — which "bleeds" like a real burger, except here the "blood" is actually beet juice — "the future of protein," and the company has plenty of believers: Bill Gates is an investor, and Google has even tried to buy the vegan protein company.
Beyond Burger, which took seven years to develop and counts Bill Gates among its investors, is sold in a refrigerated case near the ground beef and other meat products, rather than in the freezer case along with Boca Burgers and the like. Priced at $5.99 for two patties, they each contain 20 grams of pea protein and, unlike most meatless burger products, are soy-free.
But Beyond Burger isn't the only company hoping to cash in big on sustainable protein options: Another company, Impossible Foods — which Google once attempted to purchase — has also poured money into developing a more meat-like meatless burger. Slated to hit menus at restaurants in New York, LA, and San Francisco soon, its product will also "bleed" like a real burger but in this case, the "blood" isn't beet juice: As Modern Farmer explained, it's "thanks to the inclusion of heme, a molecule found in high concentration in animal blood that has a distinct iron-y, meaty flavor" that the company extracts from plants. What a world.