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   Technology StocksImpossible Foods and Beyond

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To: zax who wrote (171)2/27/2020 10:29:15 PM
From: Ron
1 Recommendation   of 213
A bit more on BYND mixed earnings.... also Executive Chairman steps down

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From: zax2/28/2020 12:50:48 PM
   of 213
Can Catholics eat the Impossible Burger during Lent? Sure — but it’s kind of missing the point, experts say.

Feb. 28, 2020 at 6:00 a.m. CST

For as long as religious dietary guidelines have existed, somewhere there has likely been at least one moderately devoted practitioner desperately searching for loopholes.

But the advent of technology that enables non-meat products to taste more like meat than ever poses a fresh ethical question that’s particularly relevant this time of year: Can Catholics, in good conscience, eat plant-based meat substitutes like the Impossible Burger during Lent?

“I will be honest: when someone asked me that, my first thought was, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?! It’s genius!!' ” the Rev. Marlon Mendieta, of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Fayetteville, N.C., wrote in an email. “But then my conscience kicked in, and I just felt that I wouldn’t be okay with that.”

The Catholic Church instructs members to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent, a season of penitence and renewal leading up to Easter. The practice of forgoing meat dates to the early Church, when meat was considered a luxury, and is meant to be an act of self-discipline.

The question of whether plant-based burgers count as meat may sound silly, but it offers insight into how people of faith think about their dietary rules and traditions as food technology rapidly advances. Although plant-based meat is a much smaller industry than traditional meat, plant-based meat sales increased roughly 10 percent in the year leading up to April 2019, according to the Good Food Institute, which advocates for plant-based alternatives to animal products.

</snip> Read the rest here:

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From: Glenn Petersen3/8/2020 1:35:45 PM
2 Recommendations   of 213
How to Cook With Plant-Based Meats

You may have tried restaurant versions, but making them at home is another matter. J. Kenji López-Alt has tested them and offers practical advice.

By J. Kenji López-Alt
New York Times
March 4, 2020

This burger is vegan, down to the plant-based cheese and egg-free mayonnaise.Credit...Kate Mathis for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Eugene Jho.

SAN MATEO, Calif. — Even before opening my restaurant, Wursthall, here a couple years ago, I knew that taking vegan and vegetarian options seriously — with both traditionally vegan foods and modern meat alternatives — would be a central element of its success.

Though sausages form the backbone of the menu, my team and I believed that people who don’t eat meat should be able to dine in mixed company without feeling that they were second-class citizens, or that their meal consisted of a series of side dishes, as they so often do at restaurants.

For me, a food-science writer who is a chef on the side, this meant testing, and lots of it.

Until recently, the faux-meat options — plant-based alternatives designed to replicate the flavor, texture and appearance of meat — have been abysmal. All that changed when two companies, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, introduced a new generation of vegan meat substitutes developed with tens of millions of dollars of funding and years of scientific research.

[ Read the results of our taste test of plant-based meats.]

Both companies claim that their products behave just like beef — with meaty flavor, juiciness and bloody red color — and unlike other products, which come preformed as patties or meatballs, can be deployed in all kinds of recipes that call for ground beef. Some supermarkets even stock them in the meat department.

The reality, though, is that their ability to mimic meat depends on exactly how you cook them.

Over the past two-and-a-half years, my team has worked with thousands of pounds of the new products (which, for the sake of convenience, I’ll refer to as vegan meat), developing dozens of dishes that have sold remarkably well. Our Impossible-based sandwiches sell at about half the rate of traditional burgers (our most popular sandwich), and better than our average sausage. And it’s not just vegans ordering them.

Even before that, I started my own experimentation with burgers, by far the most common way vegan meat is served.

My first instinct was to use my favorite burger-making technique: smashing. By pressing balls of ground beef with a stiff spatula onto a hot steel griddle, letting them sizzle for a minute or so, then scraping them up with a razor-fitted wallpaper remover, you maximize meaty flavor through intense Maillard browning, the series of chemical reactions that give seared meats their characteristic brown color and complex flavor.

The vegan meat started off promising, sizzling and sputtering just like beef. The patties even looked great as I scraped them off the griddle. (Both the Beyond and Impossible products tend to brown a bit faster than beef.)

Eating them told a different story. There was no juiciness to speak of, and it seemed that, rather than making the patties taste meatier, the intense browning drove off moisture and flavor.

The problem lies partly in the difference between beef fat and vegetable fats.

Much of the flavor and rich texture in beef comes from fat and fat-soluble organic compounds. Beef fat starts to soften as it warms past room temperature, but doesn’t fully liquefy until it’s past 140 degrees (what would be considered medium-well for a steak), and that rendering process takes time. As a result, when you cook a beef burger, some of the fat melts out, helping the patty sizzle. But some of it merely softens and stays incorporated in the patty, keeping it juicy and flavorful even when cooked to medium (as long as it’s served immediately).

[ Learn more about the science behind plant-based meats.]

Coconut oil, the primary fat used in vegan meat, liquefies much faster and at a lower temperature, around 75 degrees for virgin oil and 105 degrees for hydrogenated oil. It runs out of thinner patties, leaving them dry and unpleasantly vegetal-tasting.

Impossible and Beyond burgers really shine when they are formed into thicker patties that trap liquefied fat, are cooked no more than medium-rare and are paired with robustly flavored toppings.

Most fast-food restaurants cook their burgers thin and well done. But some have figured out that vegan patties benefit from toppings and cooking methods that add strong flavors. White Castle swaps out its standard steamed beef patty for a grilled vegan patty, and American cheese for smoked Cheddar. Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s offer a vegan cheeseburger with barbecue sauce and onion rings.

(At Wursthall, we serve no vegan burgers at the moment. Later this year, we plan to offer Impossible Burgers griddled thick and served with caramelized onion and pickled chiles.)

But as good as a burger can be, a more forgiving way to serve vegan meat is in heavily seasoned dishes, like meatballs or meatloaf, especially if they include a starchy binder to help retain some of the fat and juices even when cooked well done.

Think meatballs bound with bread crumbs and seasoned Italian-American style with plenty of garlic and Parmesan in a bright marinara sauce, or Swedish meatballs with warm spices and a rich mushroom gravy. I’ve made a variation of hambagu (a popular Japanese dish similar to Salisbury or Hamburg steak), flavored with soy sauce and porcini powder, that I’ve enjoyed more than the beef or pork original.

It’s no coincidence that the most successful dishes I’ve made with plant-based meat have included ingredients like mushrooms, soy sauce, tomatoes and aged cheeses. All of these ingredients are rich in glutamates, the chemical compounds largely responsible for the mouthwatering savory flavor known as umami. (If you aren’t averse to it, a sprinkle of monosodium glutamate, or MSG, can work wonders with vegan meat.)

One of the more interesting, and expensive, experiments I’ve tried at Wursthall was cooking 15-pound blocks of seasoned Impossible meat on a vertical rotisserie in the style of doner kebab, the Turkish street food popular throughout much of Europe, especially Germany and Scandinavia.

To make it, I heavily spiced the vegan meat with aromatics like garlic, oregano, cumin, sumac and chiles, molded it into the classic inverted cone shape, threaded it onto a vertical rotisserie, then let it rotate slowly in front of a flame. As the outer layers sizzled and crisped, I shaved them off with a knife and served them in sandwiches with sumac-seasoned onions, tomatoes, arugula and a garlicky sauce.

The sandwiches were delicious and, to my genuine surprise, the meat cone browned and held together just like traditional ground beef or lamb — at least for the first 15 minutes or so. Eventually the fat melted out, and the meat started grotesquely sloughing off the cone. Adding a touch of transglutaminase (a common meat binder that chefs refer to as “meat glue”) to the mix helped, but not much.

Why didn’t it work? Typically, those ground meat cones are made like sausages: Seasoned ground meat is mixed and kneaded until raw proteins begin to stretch and entangle with one another on a microscopic level, forming a sticky, cohesive texture that retains fat and moisture, and develops a springy bite when cooked.

The plant proteins in Impossible and Beyond meats, on the other hand, are precooked, which makes it difficult for them to entangle.

The same problem extended to all of our experiments in making vegan sausages and hot dogs, which come out grainier and softer than meat sausages.

The most success we’ve had with sausages has been in adding a binding emulsion of flax seeds and oil to the mix. Beyond Meat offers its own preformed sausages that come close but fall short of mimicking a meat sausage, at least in direct, side-by-side comparisons. Impossible Foods recently introduced a vegan pork alternative that promises to work better for sausages, though I haven’t had more than a cursory opportunity to experiment with it.

All in all, my main conclusion is this: Both Impossible and Beyond meats are at their best when cooked in dishes that start with breaking them up in a frying pan. I’ve made chili, ragù Bolognese, tamale pie and sloppy Joes that many tasters could not distinguish from the ground-beef versions.

In a skillet, Impossible meat browns, renders fat, breaks up under a wooden spoon and cooks just like ground beef. Beyond Meat starts off a bit mushier and pastier, but once it starts cooking, it breaks up and browns just fine.

Vegan meat is excellent in those Chinese recipes that rely on a sparing amount of ground meat to add flavor and texture to primarily plant-based dishes. Sichuan classics like dan dan noodles and mapo tofu, for instance, can be made completely vegan without any noticeable loss of flavor or texture. Even meat-forward dishes like Thai-style phat ka-phrao, in which ground meat is stir-fried with powerfully flavored ingredients like bird’s-eye chiles, basil and fish sauce, are comparable to their meaty counterparts.

I’ve seasoned vegan meat with dried chiles, cinnamon, oregano and cumin to make chorizo and potato tacos that sing with flavor. I’ve even tried it with that seasoning packet that comes in a boxed hard-shell taco kit. No complaints here (at least none that I wouldn’t also have with the same kits using ground beef).

In the end, as with any food, success in cooking vegan meats depends on the recipes and techniques used to prepare them. When made right, they hit those pleasure points — the satisfying chew, the fatty richness, the juicy drips, the red color — that up until now, vegan and vegetarian alternatives have lacked.

Is that good enough?

As a chef who strives to reduce my own meat intake and offer plant-based dishes to as wide an audience as possible, I think modern vegan meat is among the most important technological leaps I’ve seen in my career. And if sales figures are any indication, the incentive to produce ever-better versions shows no sign of flagging.

Recipes: Vegan Turkish Kebabs With Sumac Onions and Garlic-Dill Mayonnaise | Vegan Chili | Vegan Cheeseburgers

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (174)3/17/2020 2:04:06 PM
From: zax
2 Recommendations   of 213
Impossible Foods Lands Additional $500 Million In Funding -- MarketWatch

11:49 am ET March 16, 2020

Impossible Foods has secured another $500 million in funding, bringing its total haul to a whopping $1.284 billion. The Silicon Valley-based maker of plant-based meat and pork said the round is led by new investor Mirae Asset Global Investments, along with existing investors Khosla Ventures, Horizons Ventures, and Temasek Holdings. The funds will be used "to weather the current macroeconomic volatility related to COVID-19; invest in fundamental research and innovation; accelerate manufacturing scaleup; expand retail presence and availability in key international markets; and accelerate commercialization of next-generation products," Impossible said in a statement ( The 9-year-old Impossible Foods has been mentioned as an IPO candidate in 2020. Its rival, Beyond Meat Inc. (BYND), went public in May 2019. Beyond Meat has raised about $800 million in venture investment.

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To: zax who wrote (175)3/18/2020 10:41:16 AM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 213
Just before the window closed.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (176)4/16/2020 8:51:38 PM
From: zax
2 Recommendations   of 213
Impossible Foods rolls out to nearly 1,000 new grocery stores and supermarkets

Starting tomorrow, 777 supermarkets in California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Nevada will begin stocking the Impossible Foods plant-based meat substitute.

Fueling the increased distribution and a push to expand its product suite and geographic footprint domestically and internationally is a $500 million round of funding the company closed in March.

Some of that money is supporting the company's debut at stores like Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Pavilions, Safeway and Vons.

In all, the company said it would be in nearly 1,000 grocery stores by tomorrow. That includes all Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions and Gelson's Markets in Southern California; all Safeway stores in Northern California and Nevada; Jewel-Osco stores in Chicago, eastern Iowa and northwest Indiana; Wegmans stores on the East Coast and Fairway markets in and around New York.

Since its debut in September, the company said it was the number one item sold at the locations it was available on the East and West coasts.

The company's 12-ounce packages are sold for somewhere between $8.99 and $9.99 and it plans to soon introduce the Impossible Burger at even more stores nationwide.

“We’ve always planned on a dramatic surge in retail for 2020 -- but with more and more Americans’ eating at home, we’ve received requests from retailers and consumers alike,” said Impossible Foods’ president Dennis Woodside, in a statement. “Our existing retail partners have achieved record sales of Impossible Burger in recent weeks, and we are moving as quickly as possible to expand with retailers nationwide.”

Even as the company announced its expansion, it made moves to assuage any consumer concerns over the processes in place at its manufacturing facilities.

Impossible Foods said it had instituted mandatory work from home policies for all of its employees who can telecommute; restricted visitors to its facilities and those operated by co-manufacturers; banned all work-related travel; and implemented new sanitizing and disinfection procedures at its workplaces.

“Our No. 1 priority is the safety of our employees, customers and consumers,” Woodside said. “And we recognize our responsibility for the welfare of our community, including the entire San Francisco Bay Area, our global supplier and customer network, millions of customers, and billions of people who are relying on food manufacturers to produce supplies in times of need.”

The company said it was proceeding with its research and development initiatives; accelerating the ramp of its production facilities; and moving to broadly commercialize its Impossible Sausage and Impossible Pork products.

Impossible Foods has raised $1.3 billion from investors, including Mirae Asset Global Investments, Khosla Ventures, Horizons Ventures and Temasek.

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From: Glenn Petersen5/5/2020 5:17:21 PM
   of 213
Beyond Meat shares rise as first-quarter revenue soars 141%, but it withdraws 2020 forecast due to coronavirus

Published Tue, May 5 20204:52 PM EDT
William Feuer @WillFOIA

Key Points

-- Beyond Meat posted better-than-expected earnings for the first quarter Tuesday, but warned that it saw a drop in sales at the end of March as the coronavirus pandemic shuttered restaurants around the country.

-- The company reported a net income of $1.8 million, or 3 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $6.6 million, or 95 cents per share, a year ago.

--The company’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was $12.7 million.

Ethan Brown, founder, president and CEO of Beyond Meat
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Beyond Meat posted better-than-expected earnings for the first quarter Tuesday, but warned that it saw a drop in sales at the end of March as the coronavirus pandemic shuttered restaurants around the country.

Given the uncertainty regarding restaurant sales, the company withdrew its earnings forecast for the year.

“I am proud of our first-quarter financial results, which exceeded our expectations despite an increasingly challenging operating environment due to the Covid-19 health crisis,” CEO Ethan Brown said in a statement.

Shares of the company rose more than 4% in after-hours trading.

The company reported a net income of $1.8 million, or 3 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $6.6 million, or 95 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue soared 141% to $97.1 million, from a year ago, and outpaced analyst expectations of $88.3 million, according to a Refinitiv survey.

The company said its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was $12.7 million. A year ago, the company recorded an adjusted EBITDA loss of $2.1 million.

Beyond Meat said it expects to continue to benefit from consumers eating at home, but “the magnitude and duration of the impact to the foodservice channel, in particular,” has caused it to pull its 2020 forecast.

This is breaking news. Check back here for updates.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (178)6/8/2020 6:50:05 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
1 Recommendation   of 213
Rumors have been circulating that Impossible Foods may merge with Forum Merger II (stock symbol: FMCI), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), otherwise known has a blank check company.

On May 13, Forum, which closed today at $14.25, and is sitting on approximately $210 million in cash, issued the following press release on May 3, 2020:

Delray Beach, FL, May 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Forum Merger II Corporation (Nasdaq: FMCI) (“Forum” or the “Company”) today announced it has signed a letter of intent and expects to sign a definitive agreement to acquire a high-growth, plant-based food company with a broad portfolio of innovative products that are aligned with major food trends and sold through leading retailers and distributors across the United States (the “Target”).

The Target’s disruptive strategy is focused on addressing the growing consumer demand for nutritious, great tasting, better-for-you products with plant-based food. The Target’s alignment with today’s secular food trends, combined with its robust, plant-based offerings that feature unique ingredients, innovative recipes and creative branding, has allowed it to establish a meaningful market presence in a short period of time. Forum believes that the Target has a compelling financial profile, with significant historical and projected revenue growth and profitability. Forum’s management expects that the anticipated valuation at consummation of the business combination transaction will represent a meaningful discount to relevant public comparable multiples.

Completion of the transaction is subject to, among other things, the negotiation and execution of a definitive agreement providing for the transaction, satisfaction of the closing conditions included therein and approval of the transaction by Forum’s shareholders. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that a definitive agreement will be entered into or that the proposed transaction will be consummated.

Forum had to complete an acquisition by June 10, 2020; otherwise it would have to liquidate. Today, its shareholders extended the deadline to September 30, 2020.

FMCI was up $1.84 on the news.

Impossible Foods recently raised another $300 million. Even though FMCI would only add $210 million to the pot, a deal with FMCI could bring in additional funding as part of the transaction, which is what DraftKings did earlier this year when it merged with Diamond Eagle, another SPAC.

Going public through a reverse merger with FMCI would be a relatively inexpensive way for Impossible Foods to get a public listing. It would also get less regulatory scrutiny than a traditional IPO.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (179)6/9/2020 10:13:33 AM
From: rogermci®
   of 213
Took a position at 14.25

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To: rogermci® who wrote (180)6/9/2020 5:20:46 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 213
I picked up some yesterday morning. The downside is that FMCI may not be able to sign an agreement with a target company before September 30, which means that the company will be liquidated and the cash proceeds (approximately $10.35 per share) will be distributed to the shareholders.

If the target is actually Impossible Foods, there will be some fireworks.

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