Last week, vegan food company Beyond Meat opened new facility “The Manhattan Beach Project” in Los Angeles. The 26,000-square-foot research and development center—which employs scientists, chefs, engineers, and food-technology experts—is dedicated to the singular goal of “perfectly build[ing] a piece of meat directly from plants.” The facility will feature eight separate “labs”—including a test kitchen and sensory lab where consumers can offer real-time feedback on the products Beyond Meat develops—that will expand the company’s ability to innovate new products sevenfold. “What the animal has done throughout history—organize plant material in the form of muscle or meat—we believe we can do more efficiently to the benefit of human health, the environment, and animal welfare,” Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown said. “The path to the perfect build of meat from plants is both long and steep, but with every iteration, we are getting closer and closer.” Beyond Meat now distributes its groundbreaking Beyond Burger at 10,000 retailers and restaurants, including nearly 500 outposts of TGI Friday’s and, as of this month, 925 locations of A&W Canada. The company will triple its production capacity with a second production facility in Missouri as it expands distribution of its Beyond Burger to more than 50 countries by the end of summer.

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