Competition Heats Up in the Plant-Based Meat Market

Impossible Foods Works to Catch Up With Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat (BYND) was an early leader in the meat-alternative market. These days, however, it is facing increased competition from its rival, Impossible Foods. Impossible Foods recently lowered its prices, undercutting Beyond Meat. Impossible Foods’ alternative meats are now closer to the price of traditional meat products.

The market for alternative meat products has grown significantly in recent years. Sales of alternative meat products are projected to hit $450 billion in 2040, and many companies are trying to take a bite out of the growing industry.

Beyond Meat Leads the Way

Though competition is ramping up, Beyond Meat is currently the undisputed leader in the alternative meat market. The company’s plant-based food products are sold in more than 28,000 US retail locations, 42,000 US restaurants, and 80 international markets. It has partnerships with McDonald’s (MCD), Yum! Brands (YUM), and PepsiCo (PEP) as well as a footprint in China and the EU. Impossible Foods trails its rival in the US and has not yet been able to enter China and the EU because of a genetically modified ingredient in its products.

Nevertheless, Beyond Meat’s lead over Impossible Foods seems to be narrowing. Sales in Beyond’s food service business took a big hit during the pandemic because the company’s reliance on small, sit-down restaurants.

Impossible Foods Looks Ahead

Impossible Foods is looking to catch up with Beyond Meat by expanding its presence in restaurants and retail stores. It recently inked a deal to sell its breakfast sandwiches at US Starbucks (SBUX) locations. Burger King (QSR), White Castle, Red Robin (RRGB), and other restaurant chains also sell Impossible Foods products. These large chains were resilient during the pandemic, which helped Impossible Foods’ bottom line.

Impossible Foods has also been making inroads with supermarket chains. During the pandemic, Impossible Foods’ market share of plant-based patties sold at retail outlets jumped from 5% to 55%.

Plant-based meats have rapidly gained popularity recently. Competition between Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat is sizzling. Both investors and consumers will be eager to see how the rivalry progresses.

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ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.

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