Food Business News conducted an interview with Dave Anderson, former lead product developer at Beyond Meat and co-founder Outstanding Foods, Inc. with entrepreneur Bill Glaser.
Via Food Business News:
Food Business News: What’s the story behind your flagship product, PigOut Chips?Bill Glaser: We didn’t want to incrementally compete and come out with another burger or another cheese or another ice cream because there are some pretty good plant-based options out there. We wanted to own the category, and when we evaluated the market, we felt that bacon represented that opportunity. Because all these plant-based bacon strips are made from soy, wheat or tempeh, and they’re great for vegans and vegetarians, but if you’re a bacon eater, they don’t really move the needle. Dave started developing a bacon strip for Outstanding Foods, but when I started to think about the strategy of not trying to change people’s traditions and to go where they were already shopping, we didn’t want to be in a situation where consumers were walking by the plant-based meat aisle and thinking, “That’s for other people.” We wanted to reach them where they were. So, I asked Dave if he could make the bacon strip into a snack food, and that birthed the PigOut chips. How long did it take to develop?Mr. Glaser: We were in product development for almost two years. This product is made from mushrooms, and there’s a lot of innovation behind the product. You can’t just fry a mushroom and season it and create the taste of bacon. The mushroom absorbs too much oil and has too high of a fat content. Dave had to figure out among other things a way to reduce the fat. He developed a fat reduction method that not only works for our mushrooms but also works for potatoes. We have a potential to license that to large potato chip companies that want to reduce the fat and keep the taste of fried. So that’s an opportunity we have with our I.P.…but more importantly we have I.P. on a product that’s not easily replicated. There were a lot of challenges Dave and we had to figure out throughout the R.&D. process. What other formats or products do you plan to launch?Mr. Glaser: We will continue to have snack foods that are better for you. Our PigOut Chips are packed with health benefits that come from our primary ingredient, mushrooms. We’re continuing that theme with all these snack foods that taste great but also offer health benefits. We’ll have a plant-based pork rind coming out with a high protein content. We will have other snack foods that also are functional and taste great. And then the long-term vision is we expect to have other vertical brands… ChickenOut, SteakOut, others. And ultimately our vision is to have products across the store, including bacon strips — all plant-based, of course