Tyson Foods joins latest Beyond Meat fundraising round

by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
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Beyond Meat
 The investment raises Tyson Foods’ ownership in Beyond Meat beyond its current 5 percent share.
 
SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Tyson Foods Inc. raised its ownership stake in Beyond Meat by making an additional investment in the plant-based protein company’s fundraising round.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the investment raises Tyson’s ownership beyond its current 5 percent share. Beyond Meat said the latest fundraising round includes the support of venture capital fund Cleveland Avenue. The investments will be used to expand production, fund the company’s R&D commitment and expand sales and distribution.

The company states its Beyond Burger is the world’s only burger that looks, cooks and tastes like ground beef from cows but is made entirely from plants — without GMOs, soy or gluten.

Justin Whitmore, Tyson Foods
Justin Whitmore, executive vice president corporate strategy and chief sustainability officer

“This investment reinforces our focus on protein and enables us to support Beyond Meat’s efforts to produce new, leading edge products,” Justin Whitmore, executive vice president, corporate strategy and chief sustainability officer of Tyson Foods, said in a statement. “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.”

El Segundo, California-based Beyond Meat is a privately held company with investors including Bill Gates, Leonardo DiCaprio, Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams, and former McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson, in addition to Tyson Foods.

The company has seen substantial growth with its Beyond Burger product, which is available at more than 11,000 retail stores. And over 2,000 foodservice outlets have added the Beyond Burger to their menus. Foodservice outlets now offering the product include restaurants, hotels, college campuses and professional sports teams’ training camps in the US.

“Global demand for all protein remains high and we’re passionate about meeting that demand sustainably,” Whitmore said. “Our investment in Beyond Meat provides another fantastic alternative for consumers as we strive to sustainably feed the world.”

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