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Beyond Meat

Fake Meat For The Masses?

Doggie and doc

Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown wants to completely rearrange the protein scene--without rocking the cultural boat.

The average American eats 270 pounds of meat a year.

"We have something called OCD: obsessive chicken disorder," Ethan Brown, the fonder and CEO of Beyond Meat, told the audience at the Wired Business Conference Tuesday.

While Beyond Meat's general mission--replacing animal protein with plant protein and creating tasty meat-like products--may not seem especially groundbreaking, Brown doesn't adhere to the mindset of turning away from the experience of eating meat. Rather, he is working within what he calls "the cultural norm around meat consumption."

"I don't think people crave a plain piece of chicken--they crave chicken in their favorite dishes," Brown explained. "So we've taken that flavor medium and focused on the texture, not the flavor itself."

Brown sees meat consumption in the U.S. as a cultural force too tremendous to ignore. In other words, squishy tofu just won't cut it as a healtful and sustainable substitute. He argues that working within the meat-loving cultural framework makes business sense for his line of products, which is sold in Whole Foods and other markets around the country. After all, if more customers will eat your product, presumably more will buy it.

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