Beyond Meat Inc (NASDAQ:BYND) is a large company that produces a huge variety of plant-based foods that, for the most part, serve as animal product alternatives. For me, this company has had such a positive impact on my life because ever since I chose to stop eating meat over a decade ago, I have been waiting for something to hit the market that made it more convenient to find something vegetarian, unique, and nutritious. Now, instead of having my quickest options being soups and salads; Beyond Meat introduced and created a movement around adding variety to a vegetarians’ diet. Their plant-based burgers, which were one of the first and one of the more widely known meatless burgers, have caused a whole slew of other companies and brands to follow suit. Meatless Thanksgiving dinners, for example, are now a thing. The plethora of companies that are now offering plant-based meat substitutes is a testament to how trendy this relatively new industry is becoming. This is especially true as more and more people are becoming environmentally conscious and learn that the meat industry is one of the largest global pollutants.
The Start of Widespread Adoption
Large fast-food corporations have a huge impact on popular culture because they are so widespread and uniform in their menu options. This allows someone in the United States to relate to someone in France, for example, over their love for the McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) Big Mac burger. This sort of national expansion is just what a new company producing a new type of food needs. Recently, McDonald’s announced their partnership with Beyond Meat to produce the “McPlant”, a meatless McDonald’s burger. Additionally, the company also has created a partnership with “Yum! Brands” (NYSE:YUM), the parent company behind brands like KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. Not much has been announced along the lines of what new food products will come from this partnership, however, there is a lot of room for serious growth through “Yum! Brands'” various names.
Identifying the Risks
As stated earlier, the inception of the beyond meat burger has spawned a large number of companies, of every size, to create their own plant-based foods. Large publicly traded companies such as Conagra Brands (NYSE:CAG), with a market cap. of almost $18 billion and the Kellogg Company (NYSE:K), with a market cap of over $21 billion, have created their lines of plant-based foods. However, none of these large competitors have had as much success as the private company, Impossible Foods. This company was the first to hash out a deal with a fast-food brand, for their line of burgers. Burger King was one of the first to serve the Impossible (plant-based) burger. Therefore, the risk lies at Beyond Meat’s competitors stealing market share, however, with the company’s recent deal with major fast-food corporations, they are doing something right. There is a reason McDonald’s and Yum! Brands did not partner with the other alternative meat companies, even if they are larger companies.
All in all, although the plant-based foods industry is becoming more and more competitive, each company has its proprietary recipes and flavors, and right now it seems like Beyond Meat is one of the most loved. So far, they are playing their cards right and have the first-mover advantage. Individuals now identify the flavor of a plant-based burger by the one being produced by Beyond Meat, all others don’t taste “as they should”. Right now, the company lies in a unique time where they need to keep innovating to grow their market share because the name Beyond Meat is on everyone’s tongues. This is their moment.