Beyond Meat sales drop 30% as plant-based demand slumps in the US | Totally Vegan Buzz

Beyond Meat sales drop 30% as plant-based demand slumps in the US

Beyond Meat to launch its 'juiciest burger' with major nutritional benefits over 80_20 beef
Image: Beyond Meat

Sales for the vegan meat alternative brand declines due to the cost-of-living crisis, negative press, and increased competition.

Beyond Meat, the leading plant-based meat company has reported a 30.5% drop in net revenue in the second quarter of 2023. The company also lowered its full-year revenue forecast, citing “greater-than-expected consumer and category headwinds.”

The decline in sales

According to reports, the decline in sales was driven by a number of factors, including:

  • The cost-of-living crisis, which has led consumers to cut back on discretionary spending.
  • The perceived unhealthiness of Beyond Meat, which has been the subject of negative press coverage.
  • The increasing competition from other plant-based meat companies.

The company’s response

Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown has said that the company is “taking steps to address the headwinds” and that he remains “confident in the long-term prospects of the plant-based meat industry.”

These steps include:

  • Launching a new ad campaign called “There’s Goodness Here” to educate consumers about the benefits of plant-based meat.
  • Reducing costs and increasing gross margins.
  • Expanding into new markets.

The perception of plant-based meat

Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown also addressed the challenges facing the plant-based meat industry, particularly the perception that it is unhealthy.

“There is a considerable gap between the strong health credentials of our products and a broader counternarrative that is now afoot,” he said in an earnings call. “This gap appears to have widened.”

Brown attributed this to the work of “interest groups” who have “succeeded in seeding doubt and fear around the ingredients and processes we use to create our and other plant-based meats.”

He also pointed to the fact that plant-based meat is often compared to kale salads, which are seen as less indulgent and appealing than animal meat.

Plant-meat sector is “still in its early innings”

Despite these challenges, Brown remains optimistic about the future of plant-based meat. He said that the company is committed to educating consumers about the benefits of plant-based meat and that he believes the industry is “still in its early innings.”

In one statement, he said; “While we are reducing our full-year 2023 net revenues outlook, we nevertheless expect a modest return to year-over-year top-line growth in the third and fourth quarters of 2023, and, relative to the first half of 2023, a meaningful reduction in cash consumption and an increase in gross margin.”

He added: “As we look to the future, we remain steadfast in our belief that plant-based meat, and Beyond Meat specifically, will play an important part in the global response to a climate crisis that appears to be rapidly intensifying, while also delivering health benefits to the individual consumer.”

The “There’s Goodness” campaign

Beyond Meat launched its latest “There’s Goodness” campaign in a bid to educate consumers about the benefits of plant-based meat and dispel the myth that Beyond Meat products are hyper-processed.

The campaign released on 4th August features a series of videos that highlight the taste, nutrition, and environmental benefits of Beyond Meat products.

The ad also underlines the fact that Beyond’s vegan steak was the first plant-based meat product to be certified as “heart healthy” by the American Heart Association.

The company’s senior vice president of global marketing, Akerho Oghoghomeh said: “We know there is a lot of noise surrounding the plant-based meat category, and as a leader in the space, it’s our job to educate consumers on the facts so they can see there’s goodness here that they will be inspired to be a part of.”

The campaign has been praised by vegan advocates, who say that it is a positive step towards promoting plant-based eating. The campaign has also been successful in generating media attention, with articles about it appearing in major publications such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

The outlook for the plant-based meat industry

Despite the recent challenges, the plant-based meat industry is still growing, albeit slower than in previous years.

Experts are optimistic about the long-term prospects of the industry, citing the increasing demand for sustainable and healthy food options. The Good Food Institute predicts that the plant-based meat market will reach $162 billion by 2030.

Moreover, a recent report by the Plant-Based Foods Association found that the number of open jobs advertised in the plant-based industry increased by almost a third from April to July 2023. This suggests that the plant-based industry is still growing.

The report also found that the majority of open jobs in the plant-based industry are in the food service sector, followed by the retail sector and the manufacturing sector. This suggests that there is a growing demand for plant-based foods in all parts of the food industry.

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