Beyond Meat expands to new El Segundo lab, where it hopes to concoct plant-based bacon and steak

"Slightly better Tofurkey." The appraisal of Beyond Meat by an influential technologist hangs on the wall of company founder and Chief Executive Ethan Brown's office like a motivational taunt.

Tofu is the last thing Brown wants his products to conjure. If he's ever going to garner mass appeal for his plant-based meat alternatives, he's going to have to develop fake chicken, beef and pork that tastes and feels like the real thing.

"There's a lot of people who have created meat analogues out of soy that loosely mimics the experience of meat," Brown said. "But we really want to look at this in a more fundamental way, and we want to be the first people who build a piece of meat perfectly from plants."

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