Jan 30, 2020

Fake meat may have some real problems

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Beyond Meat's stock price fell by 4.3% on Wednesday after Canadian fast food giant Tim Hortons announced it was pulling Beyond burgers from its menu.

Why it matters: Beyond Meat was one of 2019's biggest success stories — at its peak the stock rose 840% from its IPO price.

  • Tim Hortons is less popular in the U.S., but a powerhouse in Canada and the top asset for fast food giant Restaurant Brands International, which also owns Burger King and Popeyes.

What they're saying: "Ultimately, the product was not embraced by our guests as we thought it would be," Tim Hortons said in a statement. "We may offer plant-based alternatives again in the future, but we have removed it from the menu for now.”

Yes, but: Beyond Meat's stock is still up by around 50% year to date and well above its $25 IPO price, even though it has fallen significantly from earlier highs.

Between the lines: The announcement came just two weeks after Beyond announced its Beyond D-O-Double-G breakfast sandwich collaboration with Snoop Dogg for Dunkin.

  • It offers a "classic Snoop twist on a plant-based hit."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

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.

Kitchen matches: Plant-based meats fire up fast-food traffic and sales

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The fast-food industry has fallen in love with plant-based "meats" and the boost in foot traffic and sales they provide from more health- and climate-conscious consumers.

Why it matters: The public’s growing interest in plant-based "meat" has start-ups trying to scale up and expand their market share, and food giants, such as Tyson Foods, are trying to muscle—and cash—in. The plant-based meat industry has seen $12.6 billion in sales and $4.5 billion in revenue as of July 2019, according to the Plant Based Food Association, and such non-meat burgers were estimated to be in 7,200 Burger Kings, 1,000 Carl's Jrs., and hundreds of other fast-food joints at the close of 2019.

Go deeperArrowJan 25, 2020

23% of Americans say they cut back on meat in 2019

Heirloom tomatoes in Denver, Colo., in 2019. Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

A Gallup survey found that 23% of 2,431 adults reported eating less meat in the past year than they had in 2018, while the vast majority (72%) say they ate the same amount of meat.

Why it matters: A meat-intensive diet can increase a person's chances of developing certain illnesses like heart disease and require more resources to produce compared to a vegetable-based diet.

Go deeperArrowJan 27, 2020