Beyond Meat launching two new versions of burger with less fat, but ‘enhanced meaty flavor’

Beyond Meat is trimming the fat on its plant-based burger.

The alternative meat company announced on Monday its two newest versions of the Beyond Burger, slated to launch nationwide in early 2021, and claiming to have “an even better nutritional profile.”

The new Beyond Burgers will have the same taste profile albeit with “enhanced meaty flavor” and less fat than traditional 80/20 beef: The first of its new patties contains 35% less saturated fat than 80/20 beef, while the second burger, which the company calls its “most nutritious patty yet,” is aimed at a more health-conscious consumer, containing 55% less saturated fat than 80/20 beef.

A typical four-oz 80/20 beef patty contains six grams of saturated fat, the same amount as the current Beyond Burger.

Beyond Meat claims it has achieved the newer more “nutritional” burgers with no new additional ingredients, but still makes the varieties with a blend of ingredients derived from beans, peas, oils and grains. Nevertheless, Beyond Meat says these will be their “juiciest” patties yet.

“Just as you can find different varieties of ground beef, consumers will now have more choice to satisfy their individual nutritional needs and preferences,” Beyond Meat CEO and Founder Ethan Brown said in press release issued Monday.

To be considered lean, ground beef labels must have less than 10 grams of total fat and fewer than 4.5 grams of saturated fat per 3.5-ounce serving, while an extra lean blend must have fewer than 5 grams of total fat and less than two grams of saturated fat, according to Consumer Reports.

The current four-oz Beyond Burger contains no cholesterol compared with 70 mg found in a grass-fed beef burger of the same size. But Beyond has been criticized by nutritionists for having more sodium than its meaty counterpart, with 390 mg, as compared with 77 mg in real beef. The Beyond patty has 20 grams of protein, compared to beef’s 19.

“The Beyond burger I’m going to say is a better bet, but you do need to realize those burgers are going to be high in sodium and they’re still processed,” registered dietitian and author of “Finally Full, Finally Slim,” Lisa Young, told FOX Business last year. “But it’s high in sodium, so for someone with high blood pressure, they need to realize that.”