Fast food franchise Subway is jumping on the plant-based meat bandwagon with a meatless meatball sub coming to you soon. Using Beyond Meat’s plant-based meat, which is said to resemble beef in taste and appearance when cooked, Subway will begin selling The Beyond Meatball Marina sub at 685 restaurants throughout the U.S. and Canada in September.
Beyond Meat and Subway have joined forces to create the forthcoming Meatball Marinara sub, made using the new Beyond Meatball, and it will be exclusive to Subway restaurants.
The sandwich institution isn’t the only fast food chain experimenting with meat alternatives to attract those who prefer staying off meat for their health and/or for environmental reasons. Dunkin’ Donuts said it’s testing out a Beyond Meat sausage in Manhattan, while Burger King is offering a meatless version of its popular and longstanding menu item, the Whopper. It is comprised of a patty made by Beyond’s competitor, Impossible Foods, and as of August 8 is available nationwide. Other restaurants opting to offer meatless options include White Castle, Del Taco, Carl’s Jr., Tim Hortons and Qdoba.
Many fast food chains are trying to attract flexitarian eaters versus just strict vegans. For example, Subway’s Beyond Meatball sub will be sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, while Burger King’s Impossible Whoppers are cooked alongside the restaurant’s meats.
Going meatless is big business as U.S. retail sales of plant-based foods have increased 11 percent in the past year, according to a July report from trade group Plant Based Foods Association and the Good Food Institute, a nonprofit supporting plant-based companies and businesses. Banking institution Barclays is forecasting the alternative meat industry could reach about $140 billion in the next decade.
As for Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, the two companies have witnessed gigantic increases in demand. Beyond Meat’s revenues reached $67.3 million in the second quarter, up from $17.4 million during the same period last year — a 287 percent jump.
Image via Beyond Meat