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Jun 5, 2019

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM is 596 words, a 2 minute read.

Situational awareness: There have been more border arrests so far this fiscal year than in any other full fiscal year in the past decade. Go deeper.

1 big thing: The fake meat gold rush

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:

Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: AP

D-Day veteran Tom Rice from California parachutes in a tandem jump into a field in Normandy, France.

  • Approximately 200 parachutists participated in the jump over Normandy today, replicating a jump made by U.S. soldiers on June 6, 1944.
2. What you missed
  1. The Trump administration introduced new restrictions eliminating the use of fetal tissue for medical research by government scientists. Details.
  2. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon urged Congress to increase the federal minimum wage, saying that the nationwide standard of $7.25 per hour is "lagging behind." By the numbers.
  3. YouTube is suspending ad revenue opportunities for Steven Crowder, a popular conservative creator who used a variety of racial and homophobic insults against a Vox journalist. Go deeper.
3. 1 end of an era

"The Beauty of James Holzhauer’s 'Jeopardy' Streak" ... Ken Jennings, who won 74 games in 2004, eulogizes the upstart who came so close to topping his regular-season winnings record in The Atlantic.

  • "For two months, one of the most irresistible news stories in America was about 'Jeopardy,' a 55-year-old media property. It seemed so wholesome and old-timey, a story that Snapchatting teens and their grandparents were all following at once."
  • "It brought back good memories of 2004 for me, but it also reminded me of a time before the cultural landscape balkanized into a thousand niches, before middlebrow America went away, before politics and everything else dumbed down."

"For a little while, we just wanted to watch someone blow our minds by knowing stuff."