While there is no doubt that humankind has always been considered heavy meat eaters, today’s generation is seeing a new trend come into play. Between those who are vegetarian but want the taste of meat or those who like meat but need a healthier substitute, plant-based meat is becoming one of the hottest new trends in the United States food market.
Plant-based foods have been around for some time now, focused mainly on the production of faux-meat substances. The idea behind faux-meat is to imitate the texture and taste of a real burger, but do so using legumes such as peas.
Companies like Beyond Meat have spent numerous dollars on research and development to mimic slaughtered meat, and have nearly mastered the process of how a cow digests peas and other plants and turns them into muscle. Those who are invested in Beyond Meat (BYND) anticipate that BYND earnings date that is coming up will reveal substantial progress towards the companies global dominance in the plant-based meat industry.
The success of a company like Beyond Meat has been around for nearly ten years. Before the company went public in 2019, it spent many years in the lab, developing new prototypes and sending them out to the general public as they achieved USDA approval. With each iteration, the goal was to make their faux-meat taste less like plants, and more like an actual burger. While the company admits that it is far from perfection, they have made great attempts to boost distribution and market their products.
Starting in late 2019, Beyond Meat products started popping in grocery stores. Not too long after the fact, some restaurants began serving the plant-based substitute as well. While the COVID-19 pandemic put a dent in consumption at many restaurants, the company has cited huge demand for its product in grocery stores.
Although the company is still in its infancy and is far from profitable, its reach goes well beyond the United States market. They have set up shop in many Asian countries, especially China. On top of growing consumer demand for plant-based meat substitutes, there is also substantial evidence that plant-based substitutes may be an overarching solution for the meat shortage crisis that has impacted many countries due to a drop in slaughterhouses as well as growing concern over contaminated meat.
Nevertheless, even if a company like Beyond Meat is still yet to turn an annual profit, the initial results are very encouraging. Some restaurants have reported that nearly 25% of all burger consumption is plant-based, showing not only a satisfaction for the plant-based substitutes but a culture shift in meat consumption patterns. The biggest headwinds for a company like Beyond Meat is two-fold. One is that plant-based substitutes still come at a premium price against regular meat products, which keeps demand down against supply. But more importantly, Beyond Meat’s biggest challenge is beating out the competition.
While there are many startups and established entities that can easily replicate what Beyond Meat produces, their main competitors are Impossible Burger and Tyson. Impossible Burger is best known for its contract with Burger King and the production of the Impossible Whopper. Burger King reported that its sales went up five percent overall in 2019 driven by the introduction of the plant-based burger. Alternatively, Tyson, which is the second-largest meat processor in the world, has also begun to respond to Beyond Meat’s up-and-coming disruptive business model.
So what makes Beyond Meat stand out against the competition? The answer is that there is a strong consensus that Beyond Meat may be the first company to be able to fully replicate a meat-based product used meat substitutes in terms of taste and texture. The research and development he has put out have yielded amazing results thus far and the general consensus among some in the community is that when it comes to consumer discretion, Beyond Meat may ultimately win over the overwhelming market share and be the first to make the perfect plant-based burger.
Beyond Meat has cemented key partnerships with companies like McDonald’s, KFC Yum, and more recently PepsiCo, and there is only belief that with these partnerships, Beyond Meat products will be everywhere not only in the United States but the global food market.