Feb 8, 2020 - Economy & Business

Beyond Meat tests "fake" fried chicken across the South

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Beyond Meat is testing its plant-based chicken in KFC locations for three weeks across Tennessee, North Carolina and Kentucky, the company recently announced.

The big picture: McDonald's is one of the only major fast-food restaurants that has not embraced the fake meat boom, the Washington Post reports.

Meanwhile: Burger King, Dunkin', White Castle, Subway, Little Caesars, Taco Bell and Panera Bread have all touted plant-based products.

By the numbers: Beyond Meat's stock price has gradually risen since it dropped by 4.3% in January after Canadian fast-food giant Tim Hortons pulled Beyond burgers from its menu.

  • The stock is up roughly 56% since its lowest stretch from November to early January. The start of that down period coincided with a lawsuit over Burger King's Impossible Whopper being grilled alongside meat products.

Go deeper: The next frontier for plant-based meat

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Agriculture giant Cargill to roll out plant-based meat products

A Cargill meat processing plant in Springdale, Arizona. Photo: Spencer Tirey/Getty Images

Agriculture giant Cargill will begin producing plant-based patties and ground "fake meat" products in April, the company announced Monday.

Why it matters: Cargill, one of the largest privately held companies in the U.S., presents new competition for startups Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods alongside meat giant Tyson Foods, which is rolling out its own plant-based products, Axios' Rashaan Ayesh reports.

California bill targets food delivery companies amid gig economy pressure

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The California lawmaker behind the controversial law making it harder to classify workers as contractors has proposed a new bill to prevent food delivery companies from offering drop-offs from restaurants that have not signed up and requires they share customer data with restaurants that do sign up.

Why it matters: State governments are turning up the heat on gig economy companies.

Big Pharma is on a stock buyback spree

Data: Company filings; Chart: Axios Visuals

In 2018, the year the Republican tax law went into full effect, 12 of the largest pharmaceutical companies spent more money buying back their stock than they spent on drug research and development.

The big picture: When billions of dollars became available to the biggest drug companies, their main priority was to juice earnings, along with the paydays of their executives and investors — not investments in new treatments or relief for patients who can't afford their drugs.

Go deeperArrowMar 5, 2020 - Health