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From: Glenn Petersen11/9/2020 6:34:17 PM
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Beyond Meat shares tank as coronavirus weakens demand for plant-based meat at restaurants

Amelia Lucas


-- Beyond Meat swung to a loss in its third quarter and missed analysts’ estimates for both earnings per share and revenue.

-- CEO Ethan Brown said that consumers aren’t stockpiling Beyond’s meatless products like they were at the beginning of the pandemic.

-- Sales in its foodservice segment, which includes restaurants, declined during the quarter.

Beyond Meat on Monday said it swung to a loss in the third quarter after the coronavirus pandemic weakened demand for its meat alternatives at restaurants.

CEO Ethan Brown said that some of blame for its lackluster results lies with consumer stockpiling. Panic-buying at the start of the crisis lifted Beyond’s grocery sales in the previous quarter, but as the pandemic stretched on into the autumn, the trend stabilized.

Shares of the company plunged 27% in after-hours trading, capping off an already eventful day for the stock. Shares were halted twice on Monday following the announcement that McDonald’s was adding plant-based items to its menu.

Here’s what the company reported compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

Loss per share: 28 cents, adjusted, vs. earnings of 5 cents per share expectedRevenue: $94.4 million vs. $132.8 million expectedFor the third quarter ended Sept. 26, Beyond reported a net loss of $19.3 million, or 31 cents per share, compared with net income of $4.1 million, or 7 cents per share, a year earlier. The company spent $700,000 on repackaging items for grocery stores and $1.1 million in write-offs of foodservice inventory that was deemed unsalable.

Excluding the $1.8 million in costs related to the pandemic and other items, the company lost 28 cents per share, missing the earnings of 5 cents per share expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

Net sales rose 2.7% to $94.4 million, missing expectations of $132.8 million. Sales of its U.S. foodservice segment, which includes restaurants, corporate catering services and universities, fell 11% in the quarter.

Brown said that there are “strong signs that certain large [quick-service restaurants] are planning menu additions,” but declined to provide any more details because of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Fast-food restaurants, which have been bouncing back from the crisis much faster, account for about one-third of Beyond’s foodservice sales.

When asked about the collaboration with McDonald’s, Brown said that he respected the chain’s decision to refer to its McPlant line in “generic” terms. He also paraphrased writer Mark Twain’s famous quote about the rumors of his death being greatly exaggerated.

“Our relationship with McDonald’s is really good, it’s really strong,” said Brown.

But he said that he would resist efforts from McDonald’s to leave Beyond Meat’s branding off of any products created by the maker of meat alternatives. Brown told analysts that it would be in everyone’s best interest.

U.S. grocery sales surged 40.5%, but it only barely offset the lower restaurant demand. Brown told analysts on the conference call that food makers in other categories have seen similar patterns following the initial stockpiling affect their third quarters.

Brown also announced on the call that Beyond products will be sold at CVS locations.

The company is also quickly expanding outside of the U.S. In September, it agreed to build two factories near Shanghai as it looks to build a larger presence in China. International revenues plunged 45% in the quarter, hurt by the 65% decline in foodservice sales.

Read the full earnings report here.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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From: Glenn Petersen11/15/2020 2:26:36 PM
2 Recommendations   of 214
Some clarification on the McDonald's/Beyond Meat relationship. It looks like a big loss for BYND.

McDonald’s Takes Control of Its Vegetable Destiny

By Kyle Stock
Bloomberg Businessweek
November 15, 2020, 12:31 PM EST

Honestly, the name is fantastic: "McPlant." Just saying it feels like taking a bite out of something. Let's hope whichever midlevel marketing executive blurted it out into a Chicago conference room got a super-size bonus.

The name is one of the many things that probably would not have been possible had McDonald’s gone with a third-party supplier like Beyond Meat for its cow-free protein. The decision to keep its veggie-forward products in-house, announced last week, is certainly an anomaly in the fast-food world. Beyond Meat has packed in licensing deals with a crowd of chains, most notably Dunkin’ and Tim Hortons. Impossible Foods, a rival, has its meat-esque wares in thousands as well, including Burger King.

McDonald's was the big prize in the burger wars and it quietly just left the battlefield.

Beyond Meat was close. It ran a pilot with the Golden Arches early this year, including the “PLT” – plant, lettuce and tomato (again with the great names!). And last week, it said it has a role in the McPlant push, though it was scant on the details. “It’s really up to them to say the extent of that,” CEO Ethan Brown told investors and analysts. No doubt McDonald’s scientists have been secretly messing around with beet juice and pea protein all along.

McDonald's McPlant
Source: McDonald's
Sure, Beyond Meat spent a decade coming up with its proprietary “woven protein,” breaking down plants to the mineral level. But suggesting the McDonald’s lab can’t cook up a decent plant patty is like saying Boeing engineers would be stumped by some weird new plane. In truth, Big Meat is all-in on making its own Beyond proxy, everyone from Conagra to Cargill to Hormel.

And McDonald’s has never been keen on licensing fees; the soda dispenser is one of the few places in the company where one finds brand names. Beyond Meat, meanwhile, is getting one in four revenue dollars, from Dunkin’ and other resellers stocking its products.

McDonald’s is planning to start testing a full line of plant pucks next year, including burgers, “chicken” nuggets and breakfast patties. Truthfully, the company’s supply chain savants may have had more say in the decision than its chefs. McDonald’s can’t afford the kind of growth pains Beyond Meat and Impossible have dealt with as they scaled up and started shipping product to a range of restaurants. What’s more, it doesn’t want to get in a bidding war with a company like Dunkin’ for the next truck full of sort-of sausages. And when it goes to buy pea protein or any other bulk ingredient, McDonald's probably gets a better deal than Beyond.

And let’s be frank, the McPlant doesn’t have to taste incredible. There are scads of fast-food shops selling more celebrated burgers – from In N’ Out to Shake Shack -- but that hasn’t dented the Golden Arches. Tasty excellence, in this case, is far less important than ubiquity, consistency and supply-chain certainty.

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From: Glenn Petersen11/16/2020 8:43:07 AM
   of 214
A new SPAC, Natural Order Acquisition (unit symbol: NOACU), which is focusing on acquiring a manufacturer of plant-based foods, went public last week. The company raised $230 million. One of its founders was an early investor in Beyond Meat. The units (with warrants still attached) are trading at $10.19.

The pedigree of the founders is impressive:

Message 32986600

Message 32986606

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (200)11/20/2020 11:39:35 AM
From: JubilationT
1 Recommendation   of 214
Perhaps VRYYF (OTC), a Canadian Plant-based food company that touts their products as being the least processed would be a prime fit.

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To: JubilationT who wrote (201)11/20/2020 12:41:52 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 214
Interesting company with a great trade name (The Very Good Butchers). Also, a great run this year. An IPO at $.25 per share (I couldn't confirm the actual price) to $4.19 today.

Probably not a candidate for Natural Order, though. In the 15 years that I have been following SPACs I can recall only one occasion when a SPAC acquired a company that was already public.

Thanks for bringing VRYYF to my attention.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (202)11/24/2020 12:02:50 PM
From: ClearSky
   of 214
Just found this thread recently when searching for info on this Very Good Food company.

News today--the former CFO of Daiya--a dominant vegan cheese brand --is joining the team. Can't hurt. :)

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To: ClearSky who wrote (203)11/24/2020 12:37:36 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 214
The new guy has great credentials. There are more players in this space than I originally thought.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (204)11/24/2020 12:57:06 PM
From: ClearSky
   of 214
It's a woman, right? Or maybe I'm not properly caffeinated yet. Daiya is a dominant brand so with five years there, she should bring some significant on the ground experience and contacts, I would think.

Daiya's website:
The industry leader in plant-based foods. Available at more than 25000 grocery stores across North America and internationally.

The CEO of Very looks pretty young so I was concerned about the ability of the team to execute. This former CFO/ hardcore numbers person seems like an ideal addition.

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To: ClearSky who wrote (205)11/24/2020 1:44:47 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 214
You're right.

Ana Silva, CPA, MBA - Chief Financial Officer - Daiya Foods Inc | LinkedIn

A serious hire for Very.

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From: Glenn Petersen12/2/2020 11:48:00 AM
   of 214
Singapore Approves a Lab-Grown Meat Product, a Global First

The approval for a U.S. start-up’s “cultured chicken” product is a small victory for the nascent laboratory meat industry. Less clear is whether other countries will follow Singapore’s lead.

By Mike Ives
New York Times
Dec. 2, 2020, 8:49 a.m. ET

A handout photograph showing a dish made with lab-grown chicken developed by Eat Just. In Singapore, it’s cleared as a chicken-nugget ingredient. Credit...Eat Just Inc, via Reuters

HONG KONG — First, meat came from farms and forests. Then, it came from factories. More recently, entrepreneurs have been making it from plants.

Some have wondered whether there’s a more advanced approach: Could meat be grown in a laboratory, from existing cells? That effort has faced multiple challenges, from skepticism over something that comes from a lab to questions about what governments might think.

The nascent laboratory meat industry won a small victory Wednesday on that last point, as an American start-up became the first to win government approval — in this case, an announcement by the city state of Singapore — to sell the fruit of its labs to the public in the form of “cultured chicken.”

The company, Eat Just, is based in San Francisco and describes its product as “real, high-quality meat created directly from animal cells for safe human consumption.” Singapore’s Food Agency said on Wednesday that it had approved the product for sale as an ingredient in chicken nuggets.

“This is a historic moment in the food system,” Eat Just’s chief executive, Josh Tetrick, said by telephone on Wednesday. “We’ve been eating meat for thousands of years, and every time we’ve eaten meat we’ve had to kill an animal — until now.”

Singapore’s move is “the world’s first regulatory approval for a cultivated meat product,” said Elaine Siu, the managing director of the Good Food Institute Asia Pacific, a nonprofit organization that promotes cultivated meat and plant-based substitutes for animal products.

“Anyone in this field would know that this is the world’s first because everyone has been waiting — and trying to lobby and fight for it — for the past few years,” added Ms. Siu, whose nonprofit is affiliated with a group with the same name in Washington.

Singapore’s move is “the world’s first regulatory approval for a cultivated meat product,” said Elaine Siu, the managing director of the Good Food Institute Asia Pacific.Credit...Ore Huiying for The New York Times

Singapore’s Food Agency said on Wednesday that it approved the nuggets after Eat Just submitted a safety assessment to the agency’s “novel food” working group, whose seven members are outside experts on food science, toxicology, nutrition, epidemiology and other fields. The agency includes “cultured or cell-based meat grown under controlled conditions” under its definition of novel foods, along with some species of algae, fungi and insects.

“We’re not aware of other countries that have given approval for cultured meat products so far,” Ginny Tan, a spokeswoman for the agency, said in an email.

Mr. Tetrick said that an unnamed Singapore restaurant would begin selling the product “soon enough to begin making a reservation,” but he declined to provide any further details. The company has previously said that it would cost $50 to make a single nugget. It now says on its website that the nuggets will be available at “price parity for premium chicken you’d enjoy at a restaurant.”

Eat Just already sells an egg-like product that it makes from mung beans, Mr. Tetrick said. The product is sold in the United States and China, he said, and the company plans to expand to South Korea early next year.

Mr. Tetrick said he hoped that Singapore’s decision to approve his company’s “GOOD Meat” chicken nuggets would spur regulators in the United States and countries in Western Europe to move faster to regulate lab-grown meat.

“It’s not good for what we’re trying to do to make the food system better if Singapore’s the only one that has this approval,” he said.

A handout photograph of Eat Just’s chief executive, Josh Tetrick. “This is a historic moment in the food system,” he said by telephone on Wednesday. Credit...Eat Just Inc, via Reuters

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration’s approval is not required for most new ingredients, including imitation meat developed by vegan food brands. Companies can hire consultants to run tests, and they have no obligation to inform the agency of their findings, a process known as self-affirmation.

Ms. Siu of the Good Food Institute said that to her knowledge, no regulator in the world had said that a cultured-meat product could go straight to market. “I think from a business perspective you would want to have the regulator’s blessing,” she added.

The meat business has long faced criticism from animal-rights activists who argue that eating meat is inhumane. The industry has been attracting more scrutiny in recent years for its impact on climate change.

Livestock accounts for around 14.5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions each year — roughly equivalent to the emissions from all the cars, trucks, airplanes and ships combined. Per gram of protein, cattle have more of an impact than pork, chicken or egg production, largely because they belch up methane, a potent planet-warming gas.

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