Beyond Meat’s Stack Burger is not just for foodservice anymore. The El Segundo-headquartered company has announced that the Stack Burger (modeled after the now ubiquitous smash burger) will be available widely at retail for consumers this summer.
Details on which grocers will carry this expansion to the company’s burger platform, which is thinner than the standard Beyond Burger, haven’t been announced.
In May, the company introduced the Beyond Smashable Burger in foodservice, and the new Beyond Stack Burger is the retail version of that which will be launching at grocery stores this summer.
The compact yet solid 2.5oz patty cooks from frozen in just six minutes in a skillet. The Stack Burger is seasoned and has a delicate crumble that truly resembles beef burgers. The Food Dive team was able to get an advanced taste of the patty.
Beyond tweaked the flavor in the Stack Burger so it has a more “neutral beef taste,” according to the company. The burger has 12g of protein per patty derived from pea, rice and potato, according to Shira Zackai, Beyond’s head of communication.
The burger is juicy yet crispy on the outside, resembling the popular beef smash burgers and can easily make for a double or “stacked” burger.
“With each iteration of our products, we are getting closer and closer to the taste, texture and experience of animal meat” noted Shira Zackai Beyond’s head of communication.
Beyond Meat shares quickly soared last week to close at $17.55 after the company announced that the Beyond Steak line would expand its distribution and be available at almost 14,000 stores across the U.S., including Publix, Whole Foods and Wegmans.
In a recent interview with Food Dive, Peter McGuinness, the CEO of Beyond’s arch-rival Impossible Burger, said that companies in the plant-based space have more “food work” to do. Impossible’s R&D team includes a large team of scientists. Similar to Beyond’s strategy, Impossible’s R&D team has been focused on improving different aspects of Impossible’s beef, chicken and pork analogs when it comes to taste and texture.
A weaning of the plant-based sector
There’s been much written about the demise of the plant-based category over the last few years. Data published in 2022 by the Good Food Institute shows that plant-based meat sales in grocery stores declined by 1% in 2022, after zero growth in 2021, putting its early phenomenal ascent into question.
After Beyond’s sobering November 2022 earnings call, where it was announced that Beyond Meat continued its streak of disappointing earnings with an operating loss in the third quarter of 2022 at $89.7 million compared to $54.0 million in the year before, CEO Ethan Brown announced that the company was going to pivot strategies.
Brown said the company was planning to streamline its operations but continue to innovate. The company significantly reduced operating expenses, including job cuts in August and October last year.
Now, the results of how Beyond is innovating seem to be visible.
“As the category has grown, there’s been a lot of competition in the market,” Zackai said. “But with that comes an obligation to educate. There’s room for us to improve education on the nutritional benefits of plant-based meat and why it’s a better option for human health than its animal protein equivalent.”