Beyond Meat Inc. forayed into the public arena, with its stock price soaring up to more than double. Burgers with no meat but taste like they do—this is what Beyond Meat is serving to the customers.
MarketsandMarkets™ View Point:
Beyond Meat Inc. is challenging the fact that the satisfaction of consuming meat comes necessarily from animals; the US-based company offering a portfolio that includes revolutionary plant-based meat products. Plant-based meats are derived from various sources such as soy, wheat, and peas, as these sources provide characteristics such as texture and taste that are similar to that of meat. The organoleptic factors that characterize meat are defined by the four key constituents: protein, fats, trace minerals, and water. Beyond Meat identified that these constituents could be extracted from plant-based sources to replicate the organoleptic characteristics of animal meat. Ethan Brown, the founder of Beyond Meat, aims to position plant-based meat as a competitive alternative to animal-based meat among the non-vegetarians. The environmental scenarios are also complementing the need to develop alternative meat.
The global meat demand and production continue to rise, which has a significant impact on the environment, which is becoming a great concern for governments. Governments are investing in research & development of plant-based substitutes, to ensure better quality and a more similar organoleptic profile; for instance, the German government invested USD 780,000 in research activities directed at making plant-based substitutes more like conventional meat. According to Mahima Solanki (Research Associate at MarketsandMarkets™), these environmental concerns and an overall interest across governments act as the key drivers for the plant-based meat industry to take off.
Impact on Market:
The plant-based meat industry is poised to experience a boom in the coming years. According to the sources, investors are eager to get involved in this industry, and more than USD 16 billion has been invested in the plant-based meat, eggs, and dairy industry in the last 10 years. According to FAO, The global meat demand would be doubled by 2050, which may result in pressure on meat producers, a factor which is anticipated to shift customers for alternate solutions. Interestingly, the target audience for players such as Beyond Meat are vegans but meat lovers; Beyond Meat aims to get meat lovers to give plant-based meat preparations a try. Recently, Tim Hortons, a Canadian coffee chain, tested Beyond Meat's plant-based sausages in select markets and committed to applying a similar strategy across Canada if this pilot batch worked as expected. Investment by Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation (US), in Beyond Meats, goes to show that not only industry players but pioneers from other industries are also exhibiting immense interest in plant-based meat. Increasing research & investment in the US, Canada, and some European countries creates opportunities for these markets to dominate.
While the market is gaining pace, the terminology used for gaining customers’ attention in the industry becomes a great point of concern in terms of regulatory aspects. The European Parliament Regulatory Committee banned the use of meat-associated terminology for marketing and promoting plant-based meat, stating that it should be named as a plant-based protein as it may be misleading to the customers. These restrictions do not seem to have much to offer in terms of consumer protection and come across as strategies by the well-established meat industry to eliminate this upcoming threat by restricting the promotion of these products. Nagesh Manepalli (Head of Food, Beverage, Animal Nutrition, and Agriculture at MarketsandMarkets™) identified that plant-based meat is considered as the food of the future and the increasing need for the sustainable food supply creates the opportunity for this industry to attain great heights in coming years.
The figure given below showcases the market opportunity in the plant-based meat market. The inclination of people toward developing a healthy lifestyle and the growing health concerns associated with the consumption of animal meat drive the market for plant-based meat. Moreover, the negative impact of increasing animal production on the environment calls for a sustainable solution such as plant-based meat replacing animal meat products.
FIGURE 1 PLANT-BASED MEAT MARKET, 2019 VS. 2025 (USD BILLION)
e - Estimated, p - Projected
Source: Related Research Publications, Government Publications, Company Press Releases, Company Annual Reports, Company Websites, Company Publications, and MarketsandMarkets™ Analysis
Impact on Top Competitors:
As far as the competition is concerned, it is turning out to be very fierce. Tyson Foods, having once owned a 5% stake in Beyond Meat, sold the same just before IPO and proposed to come up with its own plant-based meat alternative; Nestle, on the other hand, has already launched products under the similar line. Moreover, the recent success of Impossible Foods with Burger King’s plant-based whopper in the US encouraged the company to grow nationwide.
Apart from the above-mentioned players, some of the major competitors in this industry are Garden Protein International (US), Morningstar Farms (US), Quorn Foods (UK), Amy’s Kitchen (US), Maple Leaf Foods (Canada), The Vegetarian Butcher (Netherlands), Tofurky (US), Gold&Green Foods (US), Sunfed (New Zealand), and VBites (UK).
Plant-based meat is a growing sensation in the overall food industry, and all the above-discussed factors are acting as the driving force for the industry to grow in the coming years. The public debut of Beyond Meat, with a snowballed stock price, would encourage the investors to show interest in the industry and meat players such as Tyson to open their own line of plant-based meat products. Beyond Meat is a company of greater vision, targeting their customers with a strategic point of view. The high investment by many players in the industry in the last decade signifies the bright future for the plant-based meat industry, and this would be considered as the food for future as the products would somehow reduce the adverse environmental impact of increasing global animal-based meat production.