felt like it for a while beyond flesh It was taking over the world.
their Plant-Based Burgers and Sausages They were landing on plates in homes across America and on menus like chains Subway, Carl Jr. why starbucks, When the company went public in 2019, its shares soared as investors bet that the carnivore movement was finally gaining momentum. During the pandemic, Beyond Meat’s grocery store sales soared as curious consumers tried its vegetarian options.
But these days Beyond Meat has lost some of its spark.
Its shares have fallen by about 83 per cent in the last one year. Sales, which the company expected to grow by 33% in 2022, will now show only modest growth. McDonald’s completed pilot testing of mcplant burgermade with a hamburger beyond fleshThere are no plans to have it permanently on the menu this year.
In late October, the company said it would lay off 200 people, or 19% of its labor force, And four top executives have quit in recent months, including the chief financial officer, chief supply chain officer and chief operating officer, whom Beyond Meat reported under arrest for chopping off another man’s nose in a brawl in a parking lot. suspended after.
Beyond Meat plunged 83% in market share last year and said it would lay off 200 people, 19% of its workforce.
Now investors and others are debating whether Beyond Meat’s struggles are company-specific or a harbinger of deeper problems in the meat industry. plant based meat,
“At the category level, we are seeing 22 consecutive months of decline in plant-based meat volume,” said John Baumgartner, a consumer food analyst at financial institution Mizuho Americas.
Baumgartner said that just a few years ago, investors expected the category to explode with year-over-year growth. Now, he said, those expectations are being reconsidered.
“We are optimistic about the future of the sector, but it is a story of 20 to 25 years,” he explained. “It’s not going to happen in 3 to 5 or 10 years.”
inflation and ideology
Some say the slump in sales is a result of food inflation, as people swap out for more expensive plant-based meats. carne brute less expensive Others wonder whether the companies have reached the maximum number of consumers willing to repeatedly try or buy hamburgers and sausages. plant based,
analyst of DeloitteWhich did a consumer survey this year that questioned whether the 53% who don’t buy plant-based meat could become customers.
“The category had been growing in double digits for a long time and was expected to continue, but what we saw this year is that the number of consumers buying[plant-based meat]did not increase,” he explains at Deloitte. Huh.
“The category had been growing double digits for a long time and was expected to continue, but what we saw this year is that the number of consumers buying it didn’t increase,” said Justin Cook, a leading US consumer products researcher. Told. USA at Deloitte.
While inflation played a role, so did the perception that plant-based meats are healthier than non-dairy meats. animal protein (Companies focus on environmental benefits). But Deloitte analysts suggested that another problem may be resistance to a product that some customer segments see as “woke” to socially conscious issues and associated with left-wing political views. .
In August, when the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain announced on its Facebook page that it had begun offering the “Impossible Sausage” without the meat, the post was flooded with thousands of comments from customers. One wrote, “You are broken when you wake up.” “You have lost much of your base. Obviously you do not know your customers,” he criticized.
The data around the category is mixed. Over the past year alone, the sales volume of refrigerated plant-based meat has declined 11.6%, according to market research firm IRI, with plant-based ground beef and packages of empanadas taking a particular beating. But sales volume for frozen plant-based meats, which are typically less expensive than refrigerated products, declined only slightly. For its part, the sales volume of false Nugget why Chicken Patties greatly increased.
Furthermore, while some plant-based meat producers are struggling, others are seeing sales growth.
In October, the Brazilian meat packing giant jbs he said he would stop Plantera Foods, operating their plant-based products, after only two years. and sales volume of vegetarian meat maker morningstar farmwhat kellogg According to IRI, almost every category has declined sharply this year. In a call with Wall Street analysts in August, Kellogg CEO Steven Cahillane blamed the decline on supply chain problems with a co-maker of the products.
but impossible foods It is noteworthy that last year there was a huge increase in the demand for its products.
“We’re not experiencing anything like Beyond Meat or some of the other brands in the space,” said Kelly Salprizio, a spokeswoman for Impossible Foods. “Quite the opposite: We’re seeing hyper-growth, with retail alone selling dollar sales up more than 60% year-over-year.”
Unlike Beyond Meat, other industry players like Impossible Foods are increasing their sales
According to IRI, while sales volumes for Impossible ground beef and plant-based burgers declined slightly, volumes for other categories, such as frozen plant-based meat and chicken, spiked.
“We recently launched Frozen with a larger family size, and it has been very popular with both retailers and consumers,” Sulprizio said.
In a call with Wall Street analysts in early November, ethan brown, Founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, claimed that a growing number of plant-based meat players were fighting for a smaller pool of consumers as buyers shifted to less expensive animal proteins. As a result, “it appears that a reorganization is taking place and we expect more brands to retrench or consolidate,” predicted Brown.
While the company was expected to restore growth of its refrigerated products, which have some of the highest profit margins, Brown said it was expanding distribution of many of its frozen products.
The CEO concluded, “Plant-based frozen chicken is the largest single subcategory among all plant-based meats and continues to grow at a double-digit rate.”
In search of optimal taste
Baumgartner said that when his company asked consumers in a survey why they didn’t buy plant-based meats, most of them said they didn’t like the taste. While companies are looking to improve products when launching new products, they worry that some developments get to market too quickly.
“If you launch a food that isn’t what it should be in quality and taste and the consumer experience is poor, they won’t come back,” he closed.