Beyond Belief

How Beyond Meat Won Big

We all know the Liquid Death story by now.

It’s been kinda over-explained.

TLDR: basic product + new coat of paint + consumer psychology = $$$

The thing is though, Liquid Death is far from the first company to successfully pull this move off. So let’s dig into one that came just a few years earlier: Beyond Meat.

Beyond Meat is a trailblazer in the plant-based food industry—founded with a mission to positively impact human health, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare.

But nearly a decade ago, there were plenty of other similarly positioned competitors that they were up against.

So how did they end up a winner?

One simple move: in 2016, Beyond Meat placed their product right alongside traditional meats in grocery stores, as opposed to a vegan aisle.

By placing their products in the meat aisle, they not only increased visibility but also subtly endorsed plant-based meat as a legitimate, comparable choice to animal meat. This positioning helped break down the mental barrier for traditional meat consumers, making plant-based options more approachable (there’s that ‘consumer psychology’ for ya).

It marked a major shift in how consumers perceived and accessed plant-based options—opening doors to a broader audience, appealing to health-conscious eaters, environmentalists, and even the traditional meat lovers looking for alternatives.

The best part is how this move tied back to their mission.

Seth Goldman, their executive chair, emphasized that their goal was not to turn everyone vegan but to encourage more plant-based meal choices.

In other words, Beyond Meat’s goal wasn’t just about creating another plant-based alternative. It was about revolutionizing the food industry. And it came at a time when research indicated that over half of Americans were actively including more plant-based foods in their diets.

By placing their products in the meat aisle, Beyond Meat tapped into that growing market directly. For example, according to their S1 filing, 93% of Beyond Burger shoppers at Kroger also bought meat in the first half of 2018.

Sometimes, the most impactful moves are about breaking through traditional barriers and reimagining how products are presented to consumers.


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