(Reuters) – Subway Restaurants will test Beyond Meat Inc (O:) meatballs in 685 restaurants across the United States and Canada starting next month, the latest chain to jump on the meat alternatives bandwagon.

Subway said it would use the plant-based meatballs in its trademark ‘Meatball Marinara sub’ at the restaurants for a limited period.

Shares of Beyond Meat, which sells its plant-based burgers and sausages at restaurants and in supermarkets, rose 4% in premarket trading. They have soared 545% since their IPO in May.

Plant-based meat alternatives have seen booming interest from consumers and restaurants, supporting startups like Beyond Meat and its competitor Impossible Foods, and even sparking interest from veteran meat companies such as Tyson Foods Inc (N:) and Perdue Foods.

Beyond Meat’s products, including faux meat patties and beef crumbles, are used in Del Taco Restaurant Inc’s (O:) tacos and Carl’s Jr’s burgers and most recently, in chains such as Dunkin’ and Canada’s Tim Hortons. Blue Apron (O:) last month said it would also add Beyond Meat’s plant-based burgers to its meal-kits.

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2019-08-07