Labeling accident proves fake meat taste is improving

Apr 10, 2014

Ethan Brown, the founder of Beyond Meat, and colleagues served meatless tacos at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, Calif.
Ethan Brown, the founder of Beyond Meat, and colleagues served meatless tacos at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, Calif.
Credit Ann Johansson / nytimes.com

The taste of vegetarian meat substitute is improving.  It’s so good, in fact, that consumers couldn’t tell if they were eating meat substitute or chicken in a salad product from Whole Foods.  The labels on the products were inadvertently switched.  Whole Foods had to recall the item not because of consumer complaints, but federal labeling requirements.  Consumers eating the plant protein substitute were inadvertently exposed to soy and eggs, which are allergens requiring labeling according to a recent article in the New York Times.

Ethan Brown is the founder and chief executive of Beyond Meat.  His company made the meat substitute in the product that was recalled.

“None of the customers apparently noticed the difference,” said Brown.

The labeling error demonstrates how far “fake meat” has come.  Great improvements have been made in the taste.  The next challenge could be to find a better term than “fake meat” or “plant based protein.”

The rest of the story can be found here.