Ethan Brown, the CEO and founder of Beyond Meat, photographed in El Segundo, Calif., on February 25, 2019.
Max S. Gerber—Redux
April 26, 2021 5:32 PM EDT

Increasing concern over cows and climate change—raising cattle takes lots of energy, and their digestion emits greenhouse gases—has helped make Beyond Meat one of the faster-growing U.S. food companies; its plant-based proteins dot grocery cases and menus at KFC, Dunkin’ and Pizza Hut. Now it’s expanding even more: in February, the 12-year-old company signed a three-year deal to become the preferred provider for the McPlant line at McDonald’s. “The mainstreaming of our products is incredibly important” for the planet, says CEO Ethan Brown. Plant-based steak and bacon are the “holy-grail items,” he says.

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