Beyond Burger hits UK market
U.S. based Beyond Meat says it now has a UK distribution partner with the Authentic Food for its beefless burgers, expected to land in the UK in August. The partnership marks Beyond Meat’s second European placement. Earlier this year it announced a partnership with Germany’s PHW Group, the region’s largest meat distributor. PHW Group will bring on the full Beyond Meat range, which includes sausages, chicken, and ground meat crumbles. Authentic Food will start only with the burgers. European and UK placement is part of a broader global distribution plan for Beyond Meat. The company says it will work on gaining distribution in 50 countries by the end of the year. Its Beyond Burger is already a top seller in several Hong Kong-based outlets including Green Common, the Butcher’s Club, and most recently at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong.
Beyond Burgers have caught the attention of meat-eaters just as much as vegetarians in chains like Bareburger, Epic Burger, and BurgerFi. Its launch at meat-heavy TGI Fridays locations was the chain’s most successful promotion in its history, leading it to implement a Meatless Monday campaign as a result.
The Beyond Burgers will be distributed to both UK supermarkets and foodservice outlets as a result of the new partnership. While not yet confirmed where the Beyond Burgers will be primarily placed in UK stores, the company has been strict in its U.S. placement policy that requires supermarkets to merchandise the meaty burgers (and now sausages) alongside meat counters.
In a recent interview, Brown said that placement strategy was critical in helping the company reach meat-eaters seeking alternative protein sources. And it’s been highly effective in driving sales. Since the burger’s launch in 2016, Beyond Meat has sold more than 11 million of its pea protein patties that look, cook, and taste like beef. And Brown noted that the burgers outsold all other types of beef at a Southern California supermarket chain during a five-week period earlier this year.
Beyond Meat and the Authentic Food haven’t announced retail partners for the burgers yet, but it’s likely to find space at Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain with more than 600 stores in the region. Tesco has become a driving force in the UK’s vegan movement since bringing on chef Derek Sarno, co-founder of Wicked Healthy. Sarno now heads up the chain’s Plant-Based Innovation Division and created the Wicked Kitchen line of ready meals. The chain recently sold 40,000 units of Vivera vegan steaks in just the first week of launching.