Beyond Meat has reached a deal to partner with Sysco, the nation’s largest food distributor, to add The Beyond Burger -- which will be the first plant-based burger that looks and cooks like traditional beef -- to Sysco’s Cutting Edge Solutions (CES) program. It will be sold in the meat section at grocery stores. The exclusive deal between Sysco and Beyond Meat will open distribution of the ground-breaking Beyond Burger to thousands of burger joints, restaurant chains, hospitality properties, health care centers and educational facilities nationwide.
“Similar to how we’ve partnered with conventional grocery stores to bring The Beyond Burger to the meat aisle where everyday consumers shop for protein, we are thrilled to be a part of Sysco’s Cutting Edge Solutions program to bring The Beyond Burger to menus alongside beef at thousands of mainstream restaurants nationwide,” Beyond Meat chief executive officer Ethan Brown said.
Beyond Meat said the partnership with Sysco represents a wider cultural shift that is currently happening in the U.S. food system. According to a recent NPD study, 70% of meat eaters are substituting a non-meat protein in a meal at least once a week, and 22% say they are doing it more often than they were a year ago. While taste remains a key factor in food purchases, health benefits are one of the top reasons consumers choose plant-based protein.
“Cutting Edge Solutions is Sysco’s unique product innovation platform designed to give our customers differentiated products and solutions to meet the challenges of the competitive foodservice industry,” said Brian Todd, senior vice president of merchandising at Sysco. “Each year, we evaluate emerging food trends to hand-select our (Cutting Edge Solutions) featured productions. Our exclusive distribution of the innovative Beyond Burger helps our customers appeal to a growing group of consumers seeking better-for-you products.”
Currently sold at grocery stores nationwide, the potential reach of The Beyond Burger now will expand to tens of thousands of restaurant and foodservice establishments through this exclusive distribution with Sysco, enabling millions more people to experience the "Future of Protein."
The Beyond Burger launched in May 2016 to sell-out demand. It is naturally cholesterol free, has 20 g of protein and contains no genetically modified ingredients, soy or gluten.