Fake meat sales plummet with high prices, wake-up call

by ZeroHedge News

A few years ago, life was good for the fake meat industry. Beyond Meat had received large amounts of real estate in grocery stores and had secured a deal with Burger King to sell “Impossible” Whoppers. McDonald’s launched a McPlant burger (which was shelved last month). Snarky snarky ads flooded the airwaves and the interwebs as plant-based “meats” were on the rise. In fact, Beyond Meat was valued at over $10 billion in 2019, more than Macy’s or Xerox: with the most optimistic investors claiming that plant-based meat would account for 15% of all meat sales by 2030.

Now, as Bloomberg reports, the fake meat industry is turning into hamburgers — and that doesn’t include cannibalistic executives who bite their noses, according to Deloitte Consulting, LLC.

Retail sales of chilled meat alternatives fell 10.5% in volume for the 52 weeks ending Sept. 4, 2022, according to data from Information Resources Inc., or IRI. While higher prices are the main reason for the slide, it’s not the only one, according to Jonna Parker, fresh food specialist at the market research firm. -Bloomberg

“Proteins that were cheaper on a price-per-pound basis fared better,” said Parker, who noted that semi-vegetarian shoppers who used to go for the alternative product will now choose the less expensive real. To sum up, people are less willing to pay a premium for fake meatespecially given that “taste and health concerns” are playing a role.

According to Deloitte, the fake meat industry has a perception problem. Based on a July survey of 2,000 consumers, there has been a decline in the belief that plant-based meat is actually healthier and more environmentally sustainable vs. animal meat

Despite growing alarm about climate change, the number of Americans who are vegetarian or vegan has remained relatively stable over the past 20 years. About 5% of Americans in 2018 said they are vegetarian, while 3% are vegan, according to a Gallup poll.

Even when participants in a study conducted at Purdue University in Indiana were given information about the carbon footprint of meat production, participants were more likely to go with regular meat over a meat-based alternative. plants

Study author Bhagyashree Katare said participants may have been put off by the taste of plant-based meat and the fact that it is not necessarily a healthier alternative to regular meat. Many plant-based meat alternatives are comparable to their real meat counterparts in terms of nutritional content. That it costs about the same as meat also decreases its appeal to consumers. -The guardian

If I’m spending money at a restaurant and I’m a meat eater, why would I spend money on plant-based meat? I’d rather eat a real hamburgerKatare said. “It’s a technology, and it takes a long time for people to trust the technology and adopt it. I think that’s where plant-based meat is. Maybe the technology will get better and better so does to health”.

Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Besides, the actual market may be much smaller than thought – which coincides with a “growing cultural resistance to their ‘awake’ state” – even among people who are seriously trying to reduce their red meat consumption.

For example, when Cracker Barrel announced they were adding Impossible Foods sausage to their menu over the summer, it faced fierce opposition across social media.

As The Guardian notes, McDonald’s McPlant burger was shelved last month as the push to get US meat eaters to switch to plant-based alternatives has proven challenging.

Several chains that partnered with the company, including McDonald’s, have quietly ended test launches. In August, the company laid off 4% of its workforce after a slowdown in sales growth. Last week, its operations manager was arrested for biting another man on the nose during a roadside confrontation.

It’s a dramatic reversal of fortune. Just two years ago, Beyond Meat, its competitor Impossible Foods, and the plant-based meat industry at large seemed poised to start a food revolution. -Guardian

“I think the bulls in the industry had a very wild and very optimistic estimate of how big the market could get,” said Mizuho Securities analyst John Baumgartner. “There was a lot of exuberance in this category. It was new, it was different, it was a trend.”

Plant-based meat companies have been experimenting with different recipes to attract hungry customers. Photograph: Richard Drew/AP

“But the consumer environment is tough and these things don’t come cheap,” he added.

Year to date, Beyond Meat’s stock is down 77%and is valued at less than $900 million.

Read the full article at ZeroHedge News.

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Posted on September 29, 2022

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