Plant-Based Meat Loses its Luster at Fast Food Chains

Large Fast Food Chains Pull Back on Fake Meat

Beyond Meat’s (BYND) and Impossible Foods’ aspirations to transform the fast-food industry with fake meat are not panning out as hoped. Some of the nation’s biggest chains are pulling back spending on faux meat.

Dunkin Donuts (DNKN) has pulled Beyond Meat breakfast sausage from thousands of stores, while KFC (YUM) tested Beyond Meat’s chicken nuggets but never added them to the menu. Meanwhile, Burger King (QSR) is reducing spending on marketing for the Impossible Whopper.

The pandemic has changed the way Americans dine out and eat in. Comfort food and familiar meals are trending. Sales of plant-based sandwiches and burgers are flat in restaurants for the year as of June. Meanwhile, orders of beef burgers are up 12%.

Demand Better in Small Eateries

Earlier this year Beyond Meat’s stock got a boost after announcing a deal with McDonald’s (MCD) to become the preferred supplier for the McPlant patty. This is expected to be a boon for Beyond Meat. A full rollout in the UK and Ireland is planned for next year.

While plant-based patties have not been a huge hit in large fast-food chains, they are doing well with smaller chains. Epic Burgers, which has seven locations in the Chicago area, said sales of Beyond Meat’s burgers are better than expected.

Pandemic Hits Impossible

Impossible’s fast food debut has been hurt by the pandemic. Last year, Burger King pulled back on marketing which sent awareness for the Impossible Burger plummeting. Carrols Restaurant Group, which is the largest Burger King franchise operator in the country, said sales late last year fell by half since the Impossible Burger was introduced in August 2019.

Prior to the pandemic, plant-based meat was expected to take the fast-food industry by storm. But with consumers seeking comfort foods and familiar meals, those aspirations have been dashed. It will be interesting to see if tastes change in the coming months.

Things are changing daily within the financial world. Sign up for the SoFi Daily Newsletter to get the latest news updates in your inbox every weekday.

Sign up

Please understand that this information provided is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation or solicitation of any products offered by SoFi’s affiliates and subsidiaries. In addition, this information is by no means meant to provide investment or financial advice, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision or recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, and past performance of an asset never guarantees future results or returns. It’s important for investors to consider their specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile before making an investment decision.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. These links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement. No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this content.
Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Adviser
SoFi isn’t recommending and is not affiliated with the brands or companies displayed. Brands displayed neither endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks and service marks referenced are property of their respective owners.

All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

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.

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender