The “green movement” has spawned all sorts of innovations, and beyond meat is one of the most popular … but is this vegetable meat a real alternative?
Raise your hand if you were raised on meat and potatoes.
If you could see me now, you would see my hand raised.
I grew up in an Italian household, so you might think that a combination of meat and potatoes would not be a basic ingredient, and to some extent that is true.
Pasta and meat, no doubt, but potatoes hardly get into an Italian kitchen.
Luckily, I had a double education, and I would spend most of the summer with a German-Scottish grandparent, for whom meat and potatoes were a staple almost every night.
Now, even though I like myself a little roast, I’m more of a burger guy. Sure, steaks are great, and it’s rare to see me reject one … but I’ll happily take a burger every day of the week. Give me some kind of potato dish to accompany it, and you’ll see a big smile on my face.
But despite my predatory tendencies, I have nothing against vegetarianism.
I went through several fasts without meat, and I know I can sustain myself excellently on vegetables and beans.
However, that does not mean I am wants to To.
I totally believe that human beings are like that meant Eat meat. We have the tooth structure for it, and if you look at our closest relatives in the wild, the monkeys, they will eat meat if they can get it.
But, nevertheless, I recognize that there is a huge market for non-meat substitutes. I’m just not convinced it’s as big as some people want us to believe.
Beyond Meat’s Trouble begins
I say this because the biggest name in the meat substitute industry, Beyond Meat (BYND), reported worse-than-expected results last weekend.
The whole angle behind Beyond Meat is that it tastes just like the real article.
This could very well be the case – I have not tried it myself – but it is difficult to convince millions of people that this vegetable substitute is as delicious as the real thing.
We are a nation that grew up on meat and potatoes, and it will take a huge change in the paradigm to get people to get a meal of meat-shaped plants.
Beyond Meat seems to have encountered a wall that convinced people to buy their product.
Beyond Meat currently earns more than half of its revenue from the sale of burgers, sausages and patties without beef, pork and chicken. Unfortunately, weak demand, higher discounts and further competition from other plant brands have created the perfect punch storm for BYND, and now the company’s revenue from retail sales is down 20% from the last quarter of the previous year.
What makes this surprising is that Beyond Meat has sold more products in the world and in the American restaurant market than ever before.
But that was not enough to offset the loss of their market share in grocery stores – and that means Beyond Meat’s total revenue shrank by 1% in the last quarter.
It’s bad … but it’s getting worse.
Another bad luck for beyond meat
Supply chain problems and higher costs actually caused the company to triple losses in the last quarter, which is why investors said they had had enough and the stock fell more than 10%.
And here the story takes an even gloomier turn: Beyond Meat’s forecast for 2022 has missed expectations.
As I said, trying to get millions of people out of beef for plants is not the easiest job and the growth of the vegetable meat market is slowing at an alarming rate.
In fact, U.S. sales of vegetable meat – which grew by 46% in 2020 – fell 0.5% last year.
The prevailing theory behind this is that consumers just do not like the taste of meat alternatives – and at a higher price, just easier, cheaper and tastier to stay on beef.
But here’s what might be the nail in Beyond Beef’s coffin …
The war between Russia and Ukraine could easily disrupt 25% of world wheat trade, as well as 20% of corn supply given that both crops are widely produced in both countries.
When war takes precedence over food production, how much do you think it will affect the overall food supply, not to mention the supply of non-meat alternatives that people do not want?
It is as if the world is making a connection against them.
Maybe this is just not the time to renew this food.
Maybe the world is not ready for alternatives to meat from the plant.
But what we do know is that things are not looking good for this company – and as we continue until 2022, it seems that things will only get worse.
We still wish them success.
We hate to see every society go the way of its uncle – but if there was one society I could see becoming extinct, it would be this one.
People just still are not ready to give up their burgers …
And I do not know if we will ever be.
“I want books and babies and beef stews.” – Sylvia Plath
Is Beyond Meat Beyond Done? Source link Is Beyond Meat Beyond Done?