Published On: Fri, May 10th, 2019

Beyond Meat Goes Public as More People Adopt a Plant Based Diet

Beyond Meat, maker of plant-based sausages and burgers, went public on the Nasdaq stock exchange on Thursday. The company is the first pure creator of vegan “meat” to go public.

Beyond Meat sold 9.6 million shares at $25 a piece, raising $240 million and pushing the company’s value to $1.46 billion.

Hamburger Public domain photo/Lucas via Wikimedia Commons

The company has attracted several celebrity investors, including Bill Gates and Leonardo DiCaprio. Beyond Meat can be found in 30,000 grocery stores and restaurants, and even earned a place on the Carl’s Jr. Menu.

CEO Ethan Brown said the timing of the initial public offering (IPO) was ideal because Beyond Meat is trying to expand into overseas markets.

Despite the buzz and support from celebrities, Beyond Meat has yet to turn a profit. Last year, the company lost $30 million. They’re also facing competition from the likes of Impossible Foods and traditional food companies, like Tyson Foods Inc.

Beyond Meat’s IPO comes as consumer interest in plant-based foods continues to grow. Sales of plant-based “meats” jumped 42% between March 2016 and March 2019 to reach a total of $888 million. During the same period, sales of traditional meat rose just 1% to $85 billion.

Celebrities are helping drive raise awareness and drive interest in plant-based diets.

Natalie Portman, a vocal vegan and advocate of the plant-based lifestyle, recently worked on a project called Eating Animals, which aims to reveal what really happens in the factory-farming and food-production industries.

Singer Josh Pfeiffer recently celebrated one-and-a-half years on a plant-based diet, sharing his experience on his Instagram. Despite not being a “workout warrior,” Pfeiffer says his vegan lifestyle has helped him lean out and gain strength. To him, the lifestyle is a physical, mental, spiritual and emotional journey.

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson went vegan in 2010. Before making the switch, Tyson said his body was so “congested” from drugs that he could hardly breathe. The former boxer reportedly had high blood pressure, arthritis and a host of other medical issues. Going vegan, he says, has eliminated those problems from his life.

For companies like Beyond Meat, the increased adoption of vegetarian and vegan lifestyles is great for business. But Beyond Meat in particular will face fierce competition moving forward. Burger King recently announced that it would start testing its Impossible Whopper, which is a plant-based burger made from Impossible Foods.

But Beyond Meat does have some edge up on the competition. For starters, their ingredient list is all-natural, GMO-free and soy-free. Their burgers “bleed” thanks to the beet juice, and its sausages are colored using fruit juice.

Beyond Meat’s products have been on grocery store shelves since 2016.

Author: Jacob Maslow

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