U.S. Markets

Carl's Jr launches vegan Beyond Meat burgers

(Reuters) - Plant-based meat company Beyond Meat said on Wednesday burger chain Carl’s Jr would add the firm’s vegan imitation meat to its menu, the latest big-name restaurant chain to tweak its offerings to attract vegans and vegetarians.

Los Angeles-based Beyond Meat, which counts actor Leonardo Di Caprio and Microsoft Corp founder Bill Gates as investors, sells plant-based burger patties and sausages, heat-and-eat meals and non-GMO foods at grocery chains such as Inc’s Whole Foods Market and Kroger Co.

Carl’s Jr said it would sell a meatless version of its Famous Star burger for $6.29 at most of its restaurants. Customers can also order Beyond Burger patties on any Carl’s sandwich for an additional $2.

Beyond Meat, which recorded a 167 percent jump in net revenue to $56.4 million in the first nine months of 2018, filed for an initial public offering in November last year.

The company uses ingredients that mimic the composition of animal-based meat, like proteins from peas, faba beans and soy that look and cook like beef or chicken.

More people are shifting toward vegan or vegetarian diets, perceived to be healthier, amid growing concerns about animal welfare and the environmental impact of intensive animal farming.

The company’s founder, Ethan Brown, had earlier said the U.S. plant-based meat market could mirror the growth seen by the soy and almond milk industries.

Beyond Meat’s main competition, Impossible Foods, also launched burgers at more than 300 White Castle outlets in the United States in September.

Reporting by Soundarya J in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty