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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U.S. fake meat targets China market

The Beyond Burger cooking in a skillet. Photo illustration: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fake meat is the latest American industry vying for access to China's massive market of 1.4 billion consumers.

Why it matters: The global fake meat market is expected to grow to around $140 billion within the next 10 years as consumers move away from real meat due to health and environmental concerns — and the fastest-growing market is Asia, Axios' Erica Pandey reports.

Go deeperArrowNov 7, 2019

2 million pounds of chicken recalled in 8 states due to possible metal contamination

Photo: Tetra Images/Getty Images

More than 2 million pounds of chicken products have been recalled throughout eight states, per an announcement by the Agriculture Department's Food and Safety Inspection Service.

What we know: The release says that "approximately 2,071,397 pounds of poultry products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically metal." The meat of concern was produced by Simmons Prepared Foods, Inc. from Oct. 21 through Nov. 4.

Go deeperArrowNov 7, 2019

Largest milk producer in U.S. files for bankruptcy

A milk truck pulls away from the Garelick Farms manufacturing plant in Lynn, Massachusetts. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

America's largest milk producer, Dean Foods, is set to file for bankruptcy, CNN reports.

The big picture: The company has struggled to stay alive as U.S. demand for cow milk has dropped, in part due to a growing preference for non-dairy substitutes such as almond or soy milk. The company's stock fell 80% this year, having lost 7% in sales during the first half of 2019. Profits also plummeted by 14%.

Go deeperArrowNov 12, 2019