Does Beyond Meat represent the Future of Protein? Athletes say yes


From grocery store shelves to restaurants, Beyond Meat is sharing the same space as traditional protein sources. Are athletes part of this Future of Protein push?

Have you tried Beyond Meat? The popular Beyond Burger has transformed people’s perception on plant based proteins. This plant based burger was created to cook, look, taste and even satisfy like a traditional meat burger. Over the past year, the company has touted many reasons for people to join the plant based lifestyle. Now are athletes leading the charge, too?

Many athletes know the importance of having sufficient protein in their diets. While every person is different, protein can be a vital nutritional source for optimizing performance. Recently, some successful athletes have joined with Beyond Meat to express their love of this plant based protein.

When the Beyond brand launched, it had the backing of many powerful and influential people. The list of investors and ambassadors included numerous big name celebrities. In the company’s recent campaign, the push has been to focus on the Future of Protein. Specifically, using super star athletes to show that the plant based alternative assists in their athletic endeavors.

According to Ethan Brown, Founder & CEO of Beyond Meat, He believes that the recent imitative adheres to the company’s goal of providing “delicious, satiating protein and fuel for the body that is unburdened by health concerns increasingly associated with various animal meats.” While this idea has merit, a recent statement by some of the brand’s ambassadors takes a very different approach.

Recently, basketball player Kyrie Irving, investor and ambassador, said, “(a)fter playing the amount of games, doing the amount of recovery stuff, working out as much as I do, it demands a very specific diet. Beyond Meat is the best thing that I could be a part of and it only helps me better perform as an athlete.”

Additionally, basketball player Chris Paul, both an investor and ambassador said, “I now have a Beyond Burger after every game to aid with recovery times and inflammation – it’s a game changer, literally.”

These statements have both positive and negative aspects. A Beyond Burger is not, and should not, be included in a direct health related statement. While there might be correlation to reducing fats or additives in a diet, this statement is quite assertive.

Could some people take these statements and make broad assumptions? That scenario is very possible. Trying to say that a food can help recovery and inflammation is somewhat concerning. While many people can agree that adding more plant based foods to a diet can be beneficial, this statement goes beyond that assumption.

While these endorsements and backers can entice people, especially skeptics, to try the Beyond Burger, broad overstatements could reduce the brand’s authority. Trying to make this type of sweeping health statement is concerning. Maybe the brand should focus on the taste, flavor and uses for its product versus making specific health claims.

Having had a Beyond Burger at various restaurants and events, the burger is satisfying. The choice to eat that burger was fueled by the particular dish’s taste, not by a health claim. Just like any good food product, taste is and should always be a brand’s priority.

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What do you think of these Future of Protein claims by athlete ambassadors for Beyond Meat? Do they hurt or help the brand?