Plant-based meat manufacturer Beyond Meat has unveiled plans to build a new research and development facility at its headquarters in El Segundo, Los Angeles.
The 26,000 square-feet facility will be seven times the size of the brand’s current R&D facilities, and will drastically increase its research capabilities.
A new research laboratory will be built as part of the expansion, as well as a ‘gourmet’ kitchen and a ‘sensory lab’, which will allow the brand to conduct product tests with consumers, in order to gauge shifting consumer trends and preferences.
Beyond Meat says the facility will be the new home of its ‘Manhattan Beach Project’, the company’s initiative to develop innovative plant-based products.
Over 100 employees will be employed at the facility, including food scientists, engineers, food technologists, chefs and researchers.
The site will be seven times the size of the brand’s current R&D facility
Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat CEO and founder said: “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.
“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 centre is designed to help us fulfil that promise to the best of our abilities.”
Dr Dariush Ajami, who leads research and development at Beyond Meat added: “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.”
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