In a tofu and green smoothie world, the rise of plant-based meat alternatives was inevitable. But, if you, like so many of us, thought it would never outsell a real burger, we mightbe wrong.
In 2009 Beyond Meat began as a California-based startup with a simple idea: ‘there is a better way to feed the planet.’ The company not only believed in protectinganimals, but the environment and health of consumers as well. By 2013 plant-based meat, while supplying protein and other nutrients, became available in grocery stores across the world. By 2020, blind taste tests and consumer articles flooded the internet, deeming fake meat a real sensation.
But, how did Beyond Meat succeed in a bacon-cheeseburger-loving world? There are three main factors of influence: sustainability, partnerships, and an unforeseen benefit rising from a pandemic.
As the health of our environment becomes a growing mainstream concern, one reason for the rise in the popularity of plant-based meat is its sustainability. Plants require significantly less land, water and energy. According to a University of Michigan study, compared to a ¼ pound of U.S. beef, a Beyond Burger:
- generates 90% less greenhouse gas emissions
- uses 46% less energy
- has >99% less impact on water scarcity
- 93% less impact on land use
Essentially, Beyond Meat can be consistently produced while delivering less harm to our dear Earth than beef production. If that isn’t enough to woo the strongest meat-loving environmentalists, we don’t know what will.
A second massive influence on Beyond Meat popularity has been a byproduct of numerous partnerships across the country: Carl’s Jr., Del Taco, Dunkin’, Hardee’s, McDonald’s, and Starbucks (just to name a few) have each taken Beyond Meat to their restaurants. You can even get a Beyond Meat “sausage” pizza for $12 at select Little Caesars. Or a classic Impossible Burger to go with your favorite slice of cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory. With a wide variety of meals, Beyond Meat is eating up menus across the world and gaining more fans with each bite. The product has made it to 50 countries and plans to stretch even further by the end of 2020.
Another big boost to Beyond Meat, and subsequent stock appreciation, was COVID-19. As the world was being turned upside down, Beyond Meat was turning right side up. With meat processing plants like Tyson being forced to shut their doors (or remain open with possible contaminations) through the height of the pandemic, Beyond Meat became the number one kid in the class. It was on the shelves, on time, no contamination, no rise in pricing. CEO Ethan Brown was even cutting prices, guaranteeing its availability to the public. Why? To get consumers hooked. Brown used the situation to ultra-expose consumers to his meat alternative; all while banking on the quality of his products to keep them coming back for more.
Through love for the environment, many newly formed deals, and even a pandemic, Beyond Meat has surely grown from its little California-based startup. Whatever the future holds for plant-based meat alternatives, one thing is certain – they did find another way to feed the world. (And that we will take a Beyond burger, taco, or pizza to-go any day.)
Interested in Beyond Meat? Our Demand Wealth Vegan portfolio, which includes Beyond stock, allows you to align your investments with your interests. Whether you love the environment, or a good burger, our financial advisors would love to help!
This report is a publication of Demand Wealth. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date, but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of publication and are subject to change.