Plant-based analogue meats are poised to take advantage of the interruptions to the American meat supply caused by the coronavirus situation.
Beyond Meat, the largest publicly traded analogue meat company, saw sales more than double in the first fiscal quarter, to $97.1 million from $40.2 million a year earlier. The sales spike led to a profit of $1.8 million for the quarter, compared with a loss of $6.6 million last year. These results sent Beyond’s stock up 7% in trading May 5; the stock is up 85% since March 18.
Founder Ethan Brown attributed the results directly to the pandemic, telling Yahoo! Finance, “This is the industry’s moment.” He said Beyond Meat will discount its products aggressively this summer to attract new customers.
Meanwhile, Impossible Foods, which started almost exclusively in foodservice, is quickly adding retail outlets. Impossible products debuted in Kroger supermarkets in early May, and have appeared in more than 700 new retail locations in the past three months.
Chief financial officer David Lee told Barron’s MarketWatch that Impossible can act more efficiently than conventional meat companies, with their complex supply chains of transport, slaughter and processing. “We bypass the animal, we go straight to the plants,” he said.