I ate a Dunkin’ Beyond Sausage sandwich the other day

It was fine.

I might even give it slightly better than fine. That little patty packed a nice spicy, sausage-y punch, although the softer texture didn’t provide the satisfying juxtaposition you get from pork sausage and the patty itself seemed a bit small. It’s acceptable.

By far the biggest drawback of the Beyond sandwich is that it just didn’t taste like Dunkin’. I eat one of their breakfast sandwiches approximately every 4.869 days. My taste buds expect a certain something from the experience that the Beyond sausage just didn’t provide. Perhaps if I have four or five more of them my needy, high strung tongue will adjust–but I’m not sure I want to put in that kind of effort.

Overcoming that need for the familiar, I think, will be the biggest challenge for meat replacements. Getting their product into nationwide chains like Dunkin’ and Burger King is undoubtedly a triumph for Beyond, but at the same time there’s a certain level of product familiarity and loyalty that they’ll always have to overcome. Making plants taste like generic sausage or beef is one thing; making them taste specifically like a Dunks patty or a Whopper is a whole other deal. I sort of wonder if Beyond would see more sustainable success by launching their own fast food chains that don’t have that sort of baggage.

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