Earlier this month, Foodable reported on how two plant-based meat start-ups, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, are faring in the race to be first to market. Now, let’s talk about brand recognition.
It looks like the Los Angeles-based brand, Beyond Meat, got a boost from Hollywood actor and passionate environmentalist, Leonardo DiCaprio. The Academy Award winner has invested in the meatless company.
"Livestock production is a major contributor to carbon emissions. Shifting from animal meat to the plant-based meats developed by Beyond Meat is one of the most powerful measures someone can take to reduce their impact on our climate," said DiCaprio in a statement.
Not only is the actor adding Beyond Meat to his ever-growing portfolio of environmental grants awarded through his foundation, but he is also becoming an advocate for the company’s mission.
"I am thrilled to officially welcome Leonardo DiCaprio to the Beyond Meat family," said Ethan Brown, CEO of Beyond Meat in a press release. "His investment and role as an advocate reflects a shared vision that meat made directly from plants, like our Beyond Burger, has enormous benefits for human health, the climate, natural resources, and animal welfare…”
DiCaprio’s financial backing and support could not have come at a better time for the company. Not only does this elevate Beyond Meat’s profile overall, but now, with its recent distribution deals, people are going to see a whole lot more of Beyond Burgers.
Thanks to the many distribution points from recent partner, Sysco, the plant-based meat will be available at participating restaurants, schools, hospitals and other outlets.
It also expanded from Whole Foods Market to over 2,000 stores and landed in the meat case aisle at two of the country’s biggest grocery chains: Kroger and Albertsons.
Besides being sold at grocery stores across the country, the brand is available at the fast casual chains Veggie Grill and all BurgerFi stores. Most recently, it is also being offered at all eight stores of Chicago-based, better-burger brand Epic Burger.
“Leo is serious about climate change,” said Ethan Brown, CEO of Beyond Meat, to “Fortune.” “...this is not a celebrity deal. He is someone who genuinely believes in what we’re doing and wants to help grow it.”