EL SEGUNDO, CA — Beyond Meat, Inc., a leader in plant-based meat, announced Dec. 20 that it has finalized the lease for a new, state-of-the-art R&D center in Shanghai, China as part of its larger global expansion strategy. With increased capabilities in science, technology and culinary arts, it will be the company’s first dedicated R&D facility outside of the United States. The facility will serve as a hub for innovation with a world-class team of scientists and researchers focused on developing high-quality plant-based meat products that cater to customers and consumers in the Asia-Pacific region.
The new R&D center will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge lab facilities, including a pilot lab and sensory testing capabilities, that will allow Beyond Meat to create and iterate its products while bringing them even more quickly to market. In addition, a test kitchen will enable chefs and culinary experts to experiment with new products as the company continues to deliver on its reputation for rapid and relentless innovation. The facility is expected to open in the first half of 2022.
“The best-in-class R&D team we are building in Shanghai represents the next leg in our journey to become a global protein company,” said Dr. Dariush Ajami, Chief Innovation Officer, Beyond Meat. “This new resource will enable us to more precisely serve the palate of the Chinese consumer and contribute directly to the culture’s delicious cuisine, while joining our global effort to deliver plant-based meats that are indistinguishable from, healthier than, and over time, priced at parity with their animal protein equivalents.”
Since Beyond Meat entered China last year, the company has been focused on scaling its distribution as well as increasing the efficiency of its operations with the opening of an advanced manufacturing plant in Jiaxing, the company’s first end-to-end manufacturing facility outside the United States. In foodservice, Beyond Meat has announced offerings with notable partners like Starbucks and KFC China, and in retail and e-commerce, the company has introduced the Beyond Burger, Beyond Beef and Beyond Pork, the first innovation created specifically for the Chinese market. The new innovation center, coupled with increased production capabilities via the Jiaxing facility, will enable Beyond Meat to increase the speed and efficiency in which the company can bring to market localized products for customers in Asia.