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Carl’s Jr. adds Beyond Famous Star, Beyond Burger patty 2.0 option

Beyond Famous Star will walk fine line at meat-lovers’ chain

Carl’s Jr has launched the Beyond Famous Star sandwich, utilizing the Beyond Burger patty, made with all plant-based ingredients and free of GMOs, gluten and soy, and packing 20 grams of protein, at over 1,000 locations in the U.S. The Beyond Burger patty, which is iteration 2.0, is charbroiled, then topped with melted American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions and dill pickles, combined with a special sauce and mayonnaise and served inside a seeded bun.

The partnership with Beyond Meat, the Beyond Burger patty manufacturer, is seen as a way to appeal to additional customers and those seeking flexitarian options. CKE, Carl’s Jr. parent, pointed to a grocery chain study that found that 9 in 10 customers who purchased the Beyond Meat patty also purchased animal-based protein.

Indeed, meat-alternative proteins have grown with a rising consumer interest. NPD, a Chicago-based research firm, has said shipments of meat-alternative protein to smaller foodservice outlets, comprising independent restaurants of two units or less, and micro chains, increased 19 percent in the trailing months ended March 2018.

At the same time, NPD notes that 60 percent of consumers desire more protein in their diet, which opens up an opportunity for the Carl’s Jr. Beyond Famous Star. Carl’s Jr. also announced the Beyond Burger patty is now an option on any sandwich for a $2 surcharge.

Research firm Mintel reported in February 2018 that those American consumers eating plant-based proteins say taste is a top driving factor (52 percent). Also, 46 percent of consumers agree that plant-based proteins are healthier than animal proteins.

Carl’s Jr. will be walking a fine line between attracting a broader audience of consumers, including addressing flexitarian needs, and not alienating its existing customer base of meat lovers. More than one-quarter of the chain will now offer the Carl’s Jr. Beyond Famous Star and the Beyond Burger 2.0 patty.

The Carl’s Jr. Beyond Famous Star sandwich will retail for $6.29 at participating locations. Beyond Meat saw phenomenal growth in 2018, opening a new Innovation (R&D) center in Los Angeles and announcing the tripling of production at is plant in Columbia, Missouri, while adding 250 jobs there.

Photo credit: Carl’s Jr.

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