Oct 29, 2019

Plant-based meat is ultra-processed, but consumers can't get enough

Advertisement from Center for Consumer Freedom.

The Center for Consumer Freedom yesterday placed a full-page ad in the New York Times detailing the less savory ingredients of “plant-based meats."

Why it matters: In a release the company notes that nearly 50% of consumers incorrectly believe plant-based proteins to be healthier than real meat, and "CCF believes it is important for the public to know what they’re eating."

  • “'Plant-based meat' is ultra-processed," the group said in a statement. "The National Institutes of Health found that ultra-processed foods can cause weight gain and overeating, which can contribute to a variety of health problems."

But, but, but: No one cares. Plant-based meat continues to drive sales at fast-food restaurants, grocery stores and on the stock market.

The Impossible Whopper helped Burger King to its best quarter in four years.

  • Parent company Restaurant Brands International's overall earnings declined largely because of slowing sales at Tim Hortons, which makes up about 60% of RBI's revenue and removed fake meat from its menu at many Canadian locations.

Beyond Meat announced it more than tripled sales from the same quarter a year ago and produced $4.1 million in GAAP profit, its first net profit.

  • Its stock fell in after-hours trading, as even those numbers were not enough to uphold its dizzying gains so far this year.
  • The stock has fallen from its $235-a-share highs earlier in the year after diluting shares with a secondary stock offering in August and ahead of a lock-up period that ends today and will likely prompt significant selling.
  • But BYND remains more than 300% above its IPO price of $25 a share.

Of note: CCF is an organization that lobbies on behalf of the fast food, meat, alcohol and tobacco industries.

Go deeper: The fake meat gold rush

Editor's note: This piece was updated to note CCF is a lobbying organization.

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

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