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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The fake-meat boom is real, propelling startups to incredible heights while creating shortages of its own.

The big picture: The fake-meat market could be 10x its current size by 2029, Barclays analysts estimated in May.

  • "In fact, we believe that there is a bigger market opportunity for plant-based (and maybe even lab-based) protein than perhaps was argued for electric vehicles ten years ago."

Why it matters: The stock market in particular is treating Beyond Meat like a superstar, with its stock price up 4x from last month's IPO. But the companies must prove they can handle the demand.

  • "Last summer, locations of A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. were sold out of Beyond Meat’s burger for weeks," the WSJ notes.
  • "This spring, restaurants including American WildBurger locations around Chicago have run short of Impossible’s burgers. ... Craft & Crew Hospitality in Minneapolis hasn’t received scheduled shipments of Impossible burgers for weeks from a local distributor."
  • Both Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have ramped up production to meet demand. Impossible CFO David Lee told the Journal that “it will take us some time to get back into that synchronization of supply and demand."

Between the lines: The companies above are struggling to scale up plant-based meat imitators, let alone lab-grown meat, which even optimists estimate would cost $10 a patty as a best case scenario.

What's next: The cattle industry isn't taking kindly to fake meat, pouring cash into lobbying for regulation on what can be called meat at the federal and state levels, the Washington Post reports.

  • "On Jan. 1, Missouri became the first to regulate the names of aspiring meat alternatives, restricting the word 'meat' to only products harvested from livestock."
  • "Nebraska lawmakers are considering making it a crime to advertise or sell any product as meat 'that is not derived from poultry or livestock.'"

The bottom line: "Fifteen percent of U.S. restaurants offered meatless burgers in March, according to a Technomic Inc. study of menus from 6,000 operators, with the number serving them up 3% from a year earlier." [WSJ]

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 33 mins ago - Sports

Japan's Naomi Osaka lights Olympic cauldron, kicking off Tokyo Games

Naomi Osaka lights the Olympic cauldron. Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images

After a year-long delay, the Olympics finally got underway Friday as tennis star Naomi Osaka, who is competing for Japan, lit the cauldron, formally kicking off the Tokyo Games.

The big picture: Friday's opening ceremony looked, like many things over the last year, different than normal — multicolored seats replaced cheering fans, masks were a central part of the athletes' uniforms and a subdued, somber tone marked the occasion.

1 hour ago - World

China sanctions Wilbur Ross, 5 other Americans over Hong Kong warnings

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Chinese government imposed sanctions on Monday against six Americans, including former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, in response to an advisory from the Biden administration warning businesses of the increased risks of operating in Hong Kong.

Why it matters: It's the latest example of China responding furiously to U.S. attempts to shed light on human rights abuses in places like Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet, which Chinese officials routinely condemn as "interference" in domestic affairs.

3 hours ago - Sports

Cleveland Indians change name to "Guardians"

The Cleveland Indians baseball team announced Friday that it will change its name to the "Guardians," following years of activism and protests against a moniker considered offensive by many Native Americans.

Why it matters: It's the first time the team will change its name since 1915, a move that comes in the wake of the nationwide racial reckoning that began with the murder of George Floyd.