American fast-food chain Pollo Tropical is adding two vegan food items to their menu to start off the new year with the help of Beyond Meat.
The Caribbean-themed restaurant will be adding a vegan version of their Tropichop menu item, which is a bowl that includes rice, black beans and a choice of protein. The Vegan Tropichop will feature picadillo made from Beyond Meat’s 100 percent plant-based ground beef.
The second item, known as the Vegan Wrap, will also include Beyond Meat ground beef, accompanied by rice, black beans, and plantains in a tortilla.
“At Pollo Tropical, we pride ourselves on always offering guests the most delicious food at a great value. That’s why we’re excited to introduce the Beyond Meat menu items, so we can offer new great tasting choices to guests looking for plant-based options with the bold flavors they’ve come to expect from us,” said Hope Diaz, chief marketing officer of Fiesta Restaurant Group, the parent company of Pollo Tropical.
As the plant-based food space continues to grow in popularity, Pollo Tropical’s 2020 partnership with Beyond Meat is another example of how the alternative meat company is advancing its presence in the restaurant space year by year.
In 2018, Beyond Meat made its official restaurant debut with A&W Canada. Later that year it piloted products at US fast-food chains Carl’s Jr, and Del Taco which later released Beyond food items nationwide in 2019.
When Beyond Meat announced its IPO in the spring of 2019, it shares price increased from $25 to $65.75 in the first 24 hours after it went public. It’s 163 percent increase in market value landed the alternative meat maker the title as the best performing IPO by a major US company in almost two decades.
Since then, BYND shares have experienced ongoing volatility, and it’s unclear what its future on the stock market will look like for 2020.
Some research analysts claim Beyond Meat’s restaurant sales could increase to $8 million by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate of 42 percent. In addition, Markets and Markets estimated the plant-based meat market to be worth $12.1 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow a CAGR of 15 percent, projecting a $27.9 billion dollar industry by 2025.
But with market growth comes competition, and food giants like Hormel Foods, Kellog’s, Conagra Brands, and even Tyson Foods — a former investor in Beyond Meat —, have all sought out start-ups to produce their own line of plant-based meat products.
With so many key players expected to debut new faux meats in 2020, it will be interesting to see if Beyond Meat will continue to dominate the restaurant space, or if other companies will expand to fast-food franchises as plant-based meat turns more mainstream.