Alternative Beef: Fad or Future?
A few years ago, meat alternatives seemed to be everywhere. Investors poured billions into plant-based startups, Beyond Meat (BYND) had one of the most successful IPOs of the decade, and Impossible Foods rolled out their meat-free Whopper to Burger Kings (QSR) nationwide.
However, after dominating American plates at the tail end of the 2010s, sales of alternative meat have been more or less stagnant since 2020. Now, investors are questioning whether plant-based meat really is the future, or if it was just another fad.
At the same time, the slowdown in sales hasn’t stopped the industry from innovating and continuing to improve the quality of meat and dairy alternatives. These products also aim to curb climate change and biodiversity loss caused by the agricultural industry. And new startups are emerging regularly with new plant-based solutions to the same problem.
With Beyond Meat set to report quarterly results on Wednesday, investors will look for insight into whether alternative beef is old news or if it’s truly the next big thing.
Tomorrow, investors will get two different optimism indexes, one for the economy and one for business. In April, the Economic Optimism Index rose for the third consecutive month, while, in March, the Small Business Optimism Index fell to a three-month low.
On Wednesday, the closely-watched inflation rate will be released for the month of April. In March, inflation slowed for the ninth consecutive month to 5%. Inflation has steadily declined in recent months, but remains more than twice the Fed’s 2% target rate. Additionally, investors will get an update on the 30-year mortgage rate, which currently sits at 6.5%.
On Thursday, producer prices will be released. This inflation metric dropped 0.5% in March, the biggest decline since April 2020. About two-thirds of this decline can be attributed to a drop in the price of gasoline. Investors will also get an update on jobless claims, which were higher than expected for the week ended April 29th, rising 13,000 to 242,000.
On Friday, monthly figures for import prices and export prices will round out the week. In March, import prices fell 0.6%, while export prices fell 0.3%.
Today, alternative asset management company KKR (KKR) will kick off another busy week of earnings.
Tomorrow, Airbnb (ABNB) will provide investors with more details about its recently-released platform updates. Additionally, Electronic Arts (EA), Allbirds (BIRD), ZipRecuiter (ZIP), and Rivian (RIVN) will also offer earnings reports. While many EV makers cut prices due to increased competition in the industry, investors will hope for an optimistic report from Rivian. The company delivered almost 8,000 vehicles in Q1.
On Wednesday, investors will get earnings reports from Beyond Meat. Investors will look for clues as to the state of the plant-based meat industry, which has been stagnant since 2020. Also reporting: a little local publication called the New York Times (NYT) and an entertainment company you may have heard of named Walt Disney (DIS).
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