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Meatless Meat Reaching More Stores and Plates

Food

Beyond Burger in the fresh meat section of a supermarket on July 10, 2019. UBC Media Relations / CC BY 2.0

While meat processing facilities shut down and cause shortages in the beef and pork supply chains, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are seeing a spike in sales during the coronavirus pandemic, as The Hill reports.


Beyond Meat has seen its shares soar 134 percent since mid-March, as retailers request rushed deliveries to refill shelves across the country, a company spokesperson said, as Marketwatch reported. Beyond Meat shares shot up 26 percent in trading Wednesday.

A 141 percent jolt in first-quarter revenue and profit "exceeded our expectations despite an increasingly challenging operating environment due to the COVID-19 health crisis," said Ethan Brown, chief executive of Beyond Meat, in a statement announcing the results, as Marketwatch reported.

Similarly, Impossible Foods, which is not a publicly traded company, announced that demand for its Impossible Burger has "skyrocketed among home chefs," according to Vox. It will start selling its burgers at Kroger's 1,700 stores nationwide, a huge increase from the 150 stores that sold its burgers at the start of 2020. In total, its plant-based meat is available at 2,700 U.S. grocery stores, including Albertsons, according to Forbes.

"Our existing retail partners have achieved record sales of Impossible Burger in recent weeks," said the company's president, Dennis Woodside, in a statement, as Vox reported. "We expect our retail footprint to expand more than 50-fold in 2020 alone, and we are moving as quickly as possible to expand with additional outlets and in more retail channels."

According to Vox, the way Impossible Foods manufactures its products protects it from the worst of the pandemic. "Its supply chain is obviously unaffected by recent meat plant closures, and its workers are not contracting Covid-19 at high rates because they do not have to work shoulder to shoulder like their meatpacking counterparts."

"We've always planned on a dramatic surge in retail for 2020 — but with more and more Americans eating at home under 'shelter-in-place' orders, we've received requests from retailers and consumers alike," Impossible Foods President Dennis Woodside said in a statement, as The Hill reported.

Now that Costco and Kroger are limiting the amount of meat people can buy, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are looking to fill in the gaps by offering bulk products. In an earnings call on Tuesday, Brown said that Beyond Meat is introducing lower-priced bulk value packs to grocers as they struggle with supply shortages of animal protein, according to Forbes.

"Our biggest focus is to provide solutions for consumers as they have meat disruptions," Brown said on the call. "There is an opportunity for consumers to be aware of a different model. There are more opportunities to be relevant to customers."

The move away from animal-protein, which is resource-intensive to grow and raise, making it a leading cause of the climate crisis, has helped Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods make headway into new markets. Starbucks in China has started to sell Beyond Meat.

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