Food tech startup Beyond Meat has revealed its first plant-based sausage product at a Boulder, Colorado Whole Foods restaurant.
The company says details for the next stage of distribution of the product – dubbed the ‘Beyond Sausage’ – will be launched in January.
The sausage will come in three flavors: bratwurst, sweet Italian, and hot Italian.
It has no cholesterol, 43 percent less total fat, 38 percent less saturated fat, and 26 percent less sodium than its animal-based equivalent.
The California-based startup – which is known for its flagship plant-based Beyond Burger – started working on the innovative sausage a year ago, but CEO Ethan Brown says the new addition ‘captures the work that’s been going on for the previous nine years’.
“This is part of the continuum for us,” said Brown.
“It’s really been a mantra for us that we want to relentlessly and rapidly innovate.”
Watch PBN’s interview with Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown
According to Brown, the company decided to develop a ‘pork’ sausage in a bid to address consumers’ health concers about processed meat.
“We just always want our product to be indistinguishable,” Brown says.
“This is one I felt we could get closer to the animal equivalent than other categories.”
Brown highlighted the biggest challenge in creating a vegan sausage – which was its varied bite.
He says a sausage isn’t homogenous, since it’s made from different parts of muscle and fat within the animal.
In order to recreate the specific sausage texture, the Beyond Meat team used a mixture of peas, fava beans, and rice; the Beyond Sausage also contains beet, paprika, and coconut oil.
Brown claimed replicating a sausage’s casing was also an issue – so the startup used alginate, a substance contained within algae. Speaking about the substance, he said it’s decent, but not perfect yet.
The company will sell the product in molded trays to recreate the sausage’s curve.