Meat alternative brand Beyond Meat has secured a $55 million in an investment round led by Tyson Foods and venture capital firm Cleveland Avenue.
The funding will be used to more than triple Beyond Meat’s production, and further expand its commitment to create meat from plants.
Aiming to become a leading plant-based solution to the world’s growing demand for protein in meat form, Beyond Meat secured the support of Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio as an investor and advocate in October.
The Los Angeles-based company creates the Beyond Burger, which it said ‘looks, cooks, and tastes like ground beef from cows but is made entirely from plants, without GMOs, soy or gluten’.
Since launching last year, the Beyond Burger has been added to the menu at nearly 4,000 restaurants, hotels, college campus dining halls, hospitals and other foodservice outlets.
Earlier this year, the burger’s distribution increased sevenfold, expanding to over 2,000 stores in the US, including Kroger and Albertsons Companies-owned shops.
While the terms have not been disclosed, the Tyson Foods investment slightly increases its ownership stake from the 5% established a year ago.
Tyson executive vice president of corporate strategy and chief sustainability officer Justin Whitmore said: “Global demand for all protein remains high and we’re passionate about meeting that demand sustainably.
“Our investment in Beyond Meat provides another fantastic alternative for consumers as we strive to sustainably feed the world.”
He added: “This investment reinforces our focus on protein and enables us to support Beyond Meat’s efforts to produce new, leading-edge products. What we’re most excited about is that we can do all of this while continuing to provide the great-tasting, high-quality food that is the hallmark of our company.”
Cleveland Avenue founder Don Thompson added: “We see Beyond Meat as a strategic and compelling consumer-focused investment. Customer response to Beyond Meat’s great-tasting products has driven its growth, and we’re excited about our investment as the brand continues to innovate for the future.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019