Twitter Co-Founders Betting Big on Beyond Meat, a New Vegan Meat Substitute

updated May 2, 2019

The future of meat substitutes is getting brighter: Beyond Meat, a startup that manufactures protein-packed vegan meat products that purportedly taste and feel like real meat (but with no cholesterol or saturated fat) has some high profile backers, including Obvious Corporation, a company owned by Twitter’s co-founders. So what’s all the buzz about?

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, who’s been a vegan for ten years, tells FastCo.Exist that he’s “acutely aware of the potential health and sustainability gains of a world that eats less meat,” and was impressed by Beyond Meat’s strategy and potential.

“These guys are coming at the meat analogue industry not as a novelty kind of thing or hippy dippy,” says Stone.”They were coming at it from this big science, super practical, scalable angle. They were saying, ‘We want to get into the multi-billion-dollar meat industry with a plant-based meat.'”

In fact, Beyond Meat’s products taste so much like meat that some vegans and vegetarians won’t like it, according to Stone. He says “there’s something about the mouth-feel, the fattiness. It feels fatty and muscly and like it’s not good for you when you’re chewing it. For a long-time vegan, it’s a little bit freaky.”

Beyond Meat’s first product is Veggie Chicken Strips, currently available at Whole Foods stores in Northern California and coming to other grocery stores on the West Coast in late summer and fall. The products are made partly with soy, but the company says it will focus on other non-soy options in the future, like pea protein, lupin, mustard seed protein, and barley.

Related: Meat Substitutes: Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em?

(Image: Beyond Meat)