On "Beyond Meat" and More

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  • Last week, a Bloomberg article said “Now that Beyond Meat Inc. has soared about 225 percent since going public last week -- and saw the strongest first day of trading for an IPO since the 2008 financial crisis -- the first skeptics on Wall Street are coming out with guns blazing.”

  • From the company’s website “At Beyond Meat, we believe there is a better way to feed the planet. Our mission is to create The Future of Protein® – delicious plant-based burgers, sausage, crumbles, and more-- made directly from simple plant-based ingredients. By shifting from animal, to plant-based meat, we are creating one savory solution that solves four growing issues attributed to livestock production: human health, climate change, constraints on natural resources and animal welfare.”

  • From Tyson Foods website, posted Sept. 18, 2018 “We believe that alternative proteins, whether from plants or the lab, can co-exist with traditional animal protein. There’s growing global demand for protein of all types ... 

  • "Tyson Foods has a financial stake in the alternative protein industry and an interest in seeing it develop. For those who don’t know, Tyson Ventures, the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods, has made strategic investments in Beyond Meats, Memphis Meat and Future Meat Technologies.” 

  • Notes: 1) Tyson is the world's second largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork, 2) Tyson is expected to enter the plant-based meat market this summer "on a fairly limited basis" according to CEO Noel White, 3) Memphis Meats (based in Berkeley, CA) and Future Meat Technologies (based in Jerusalem, Israel) are focused on cellular-based meat production.  


  • Given that Beyond Meat is the first plant-based, meat-alternative company to go public, its recent price moves are likely a surrogate for investor interest in and demand for meat alternatives

  • Regarding market competition – Consumer demand for healthier products, and products with less impact on the planet will continue to reshape the food and agriculture industries. As the market matures and expands, competition will increase, and product pricing should decline. Investors, start-ups and incumbent players are paying attention.

  • Regarding the nutritional content of Beyond Meat and closely watched competitor Impossible Foods - A 4-ounce patty of Beyond Meat has about 270 calories, Impossible Foods about 240 calories, a ground beef with 20% fat has about 290 calories. Protein content is about the same for all.  Plant-based patties have more fiber, but also higher sodium. Beyond Meat ingredients include pea protein and canola oil. Impossible Foods has soy protein, coconut oil and genetically modified yeast.

Paul Dravis