Meatless meat was a rage for a while. Maybe it was the novelty. Maybe it was the health benefits. The meatless meat craze appears to have ended, as the revenue growth rate of Beyond Meat has dropped close to zero.
Beyond Meat shares have been hammered in the past two days, to a point that has pushed them down by over 40%. The stock has dropped to about $20, down from a 52-week high of $160.28. The new earnings release will cause analysts to downgrade the stock and issue warnings to investors. Between low demand and competition, Beyond Meat’s best days are behind it.
In the quarter that ended April 2, revenue rose only 1% to $110 million, which in the meat sales business is tiny. Its net loss was $100 million. Beyond Meat President and CEO Ethan Brown made the absurd comment that “In the first quarter, we made good progress against our goal of building tomorrow’s global protein company.” As if a company can grow what is falling apart.
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One explanation the company had for its problems was the launch of something called Beyond Meat Jerky. Apparently, the problems with its margins can be fixed. Why the company chose to highlight the product over its financials is anyone’s guess.
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One of Beyond Meat’s problems is that it has hundreds of competitors, at least on a product-by-product basis. Markets and Markets recently reported the “vegan and flexitarian population” around the world is growing. Plant-based meat revenue worldwide should be $8.3 billion by 2025. However, the market is fragmented and only growing by 14% a year.
Beyond Meat was built on a trend that is not gone but is mostly forgotten. Branded, plant-based meat matters to fewer and fewer people.
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