Beyond Meat Beefs Up Its Plant-Based Patty to Make It ‘Meatier’

Daniel Fowler
June 14, 2019

The company recently discontinued its frozen plant-based chicken strips as it improves the recipe. The stock had previously closed at $180.50, but opened at $168.10.

JP Morgan still says that sales estimates for Beyond Meat are too conservative and believes that it will continue to win over more customers.

No longer at the food fringes, plant-based meats are selling well in supermarkets and emerging as a hot commodity for fast-food chains, industrial food companies as well as Wall Street investors.

Beyond Meat also has a leg up on its rival Impossible Foods - which has partnered with Tim Hortons' corporate cousin Burger King on an Impossible Whopper - because Beyond Meat sells its burgers in grocery stores, while Impossible does not yet have retail distribution.

Alternatives to meat are not new, of course, but start-ups and other growing players in the business have taken advantage of newer technologies to simulate the taste and texture of authentic meat more comprehensively. It's also facing increasing competition from other "new meat" companies like Impossible Foods.

Sales of alternative meat jumped 23 per cent past year in the United States, according to The Food Institute.

He pointed to a study indicating that a plant-based burger requires 99 per cent less water and 93 per cent less arable land to produce, not to mention reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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The new Beyond Burger boasts 20g of plant-based protein per 4oz patty, features a simplified ingredients list and is said to have a more natural flavour and aroma profile.

In the fall, Nestle plans to offer a pea-based "Sweet Earth" veggie burger in the US.

Anglo-Dutch company Unilever past year bought the Vegetarian Butcher, which has said it aims to become the "largest butcher in the world" with plant-based meat.

Beyond Meat may be beyond its own valuation.

In spite of the strong potential, analysts caution against losing sight of some uncertainties facing the industry.

Risks to the stock price include the El Segundo, California-based company's increasingly aggressive competitors and the end of the lockup period in October, he said.

'I am maniacally focused on driving this business forward through innovation, ' Brown said during a call with analysts discussing the company's first quarter earnings results. They set a market perform rating for the company.

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