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   Technology StocksImpossible Foods and Beyond


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From: zax1/14/2021 11:43:45 AM
   of 214
 
Taco Bell partnering with Beyond Meat to create plant-based protein

marketwatch.com

Taco Bell announced Thursday that it has partnered with Beyond Meat Inc. to create a plant-based protein that will begin testing in the next year.

Taco Bell announced Thursday that it has partnered with Beyond Meat Inc. BYND, 7.67% to create a plant-based protein that will begin testing in the next year.

This is the brand’s first steps into the world of plant-based meats. Other big fast-food names including fellow Yum Brands Inc. YUM, 2.06% chain KFC and McDonald’s Corp. MCD, -0.55%, which is expected to launch the McPlant in 2021.

Beyond Meat has partnered with and popped up on menus across the culinary spectrum.

This week, the company announced that plant-based Beyond Breakfast Sausage will be offered as part of a free breakfast promotion at Gregorys Coffee in New York City, Love Burger Shack in Dallas, Craftsman & Wolves in San Francisco, and PLNT Burger in Washington, D.C. among other places.

Beyond Meat shares jumped 7% in early Thursday trading after the Taco Bell announcement.

... marketwatch.com

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From: zax1/26/2021 12:16:15 PM
   of 214
 
Beyond Meat, Inc. (BYND)
189.70 +30.97 (+19.51%)

Beyond Meat soars on plant-based deal with PepsiCo

Shares of Beyond Meat jumped on Tuesday morning after the company announcing it was forming a joint venture to produce and market plant-based foods with PepsiCo.

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From: Glenn Petersen2/7/2021 7:26:14 AM
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Impossible Foods’ plant-based meat just got closer to the price of regular meat

The 20 percent price cut is part of a strategy to take plant-based meat mainstream.

By Kelsey Piper
Vox
Feb 2, 2021, 11:35am EST



Impossible Foods announced they’re cutting retail prices by 20 percent in a bid to compete with animal meat. Patrick T. Fallon/Getty Images
--------------------
In the past few years, meatless meat products have taken off among consumers. But the meatless meat market is still only about 1 percent of the meat market. One of the biggest reasons: Plant-based meat products are considerably more expensive.

There are signs, though, that that’s changing. Impossible Foods products on grocery store shelves should get about 20 percent cheaper in upcoming weeks, the company announced Tuesday morning. The company will suggest to retailers that prices drop to $5.49 (from $6.99) for a two-patty package and $6.99 (from $8.99) for a 12-oz. package of ground Impossible beef in the US (actual prices will vary by location and by retailer).

The announcement follows a similar price cut Impossible Foods made for restaurant distributors at the start of the year, and it’s the latest attempt by plant-based meat makers to cut into meat’s big price advantage.

The pandemic has only underscored the importance of cutting into that price advantage and making meatless meat a mainstream alternative to factory-farmed meat. Slaughterhouses, long notorious for their terrible working conditions, have been coronavirus hotspots, in some cases because they responded to the coronavirus crisis by telling employees not to take any sick leave for any reason. And then there are the larger-scale problems that the pandemic reminded the world of: It is a public health hazard to raise animals for food in crowded conditions that can incubate and rapidly spread disease, and our farming practices risk starting the next global pandemic.

In light of those problems, consumers have shown greater interest in plant-based offerings. More and more traditional food companies have launched plant-based meat brands, more and more fast food and casual dining restaurants have added menu options, and major players in the field have raised a lot of money.

Having won the first battle — getting consumers interested enough to try plant-based foods, and investors interested enough to fund them — plant-based meat companies are setting their sights on a bigger challenge: getting plant-based meat products as cheap as animal meat products are. The plant-based meat industry has to be bigger to compete with animal products on price — and competing on price is a key component of getting bigger as an industry.

One pound of factory-farmed beef burgers at the Walmart near me costs just $2.80/pound. To give every person access to plant-based alternatives and to meaningfully transition away from factory farming, plant-based alternatives have to get just as cheap — without cutting any of the same corners.

Plant-based meat is still a long way away from the rock-bottom prices of animal meat. But Impossible Food’s 20 percent price cut is one more step toward making plant-based meat a reliable alternative to factory-farmed animal meat.

Why is meat so cheap anyway?

Meat in America is shockingly, unprecedentedly cheap.

The average price for a meat alternative sold in a grocers’ meat department in the US last year was $9.87/pound. The average price for beef? $4.82/pound. Chicken is even cheaper, at $2.33/pound.

That’s a big difference, and might go a long way toward explaining why even as consumer interest increases and the flavor profile of plant-based meats gets closer and closer to the flavor profile of animal meats, plant-based meats still make up only a very small share of sales.

“The animal industry has optimized its processes for a century,” Dennis Woodside, the president of Impossible Foods, told me.

“The most processed cheap forms of chicken are just insanely cheap, relative to historical standards and relative to other food products on the market,” Lewis Bollard, who researches farm animal welfare at the Open Philanthropy Project, told me last summer. “The chicken industry has managed to cut all their corners, they don’t pay their environmental bills, they don’t pay for a lot of the public health hazards they cause. They have managed to produce a product that is just artificially cheap and hard to compete with.”

But optimization is just one part of the story. The other is that the meat industry has accrued a lot of political power that they’ve leveraged to make meat cheap — and to make Americans eat a lot of it.

Animal agriculture is heavily subsidized by the federal government. That said, neither Bollard nor Zak Weston, a researcher at the Good Food Institute, thinks direct monetary subsidies were the main reason meat was so cheap.

More important are invisible forms of subsidization like not enforcing worker’s rights, exempting factory farms from animal cruelty laws, not requiring companies to engage in environmental cleanup, and not restricting risky practices — like antibiotic overuse — that impose costs on the whole world.

“It’s not the case that plant-based meat is weirdly expensive or labor intensive or something,” Weston previously told me. “The animal protein industry has spent decades wringing incredible efficiencies out of every part of the program. Animal meat gets to externalize a lot of its negatives — externalities like health care, ecological, worker welfare, animal welfare.”

In other words, if the animal meat industry were held accountable for the costs their products and their workings inflict on society, meat would be much more expensive.

Plant-based meat is getting cheaper, but it still doesn’t beat animal meat

Impossible’s 20 percent price cut is large in absolute terms, but price parity is still a long way away.

Nevertheless, industry experts are optimistic.

“We were thinking about cost reductions and getting to the cost structure of commodity ground beef from the very beginning,” David Lee, chief financial officer of Impossible Foods, previously told me. “We knew that if we had the best product at the same cost, then consumers would vote with their stomachs.”

In the past few years, they’ve already made progress. Last year, Impossible Foods slashed prices for restaurants by 15 percent. Now, they’re cutting recommended retail prices by 20 percent. Companies were wary of sharing with me specific figures on their costs, but based on Securities and Exchange Commission filings, Bollard estimates that Beyond’s cost of production has fallen from $4.50/pound in mid-2019 to $3.50/pound in mid-2020.
At a few outlets, such as Dunkin’, Beyond Meat’s Sausage Sandwich sells for the exact same price as the meat sausage sandwich. Beyond Meat executive Charles Muth says that Beyond’s products do much better when they’re listed at the same price as meat.

“The thing we like to say here,” Muth said last year, “is we’re changing the way consumers and shoppers think about what they eat. We don’t want pricing to be a barrier when they’re considering that. We’d like to take pricing out of that conversation as best as we can.”

There’s no single brilliant secret to making a mass-manufactured product cheaper. Instead, experts told me, it’s a matter of relentlessly making every element of the supply chain, the manufacturing process, and the distribution process work slightly better.

When a company is big enough, it can make ingredient purchases at scale, get expensive equipment that’s only worthwhile if it’ll be used to make an enormous number of products, have distribution centers in lots of different parts of the world to minimize transportation costs, and negotiate better deals for its supplies. There’s the potential for a virtuous cycle where lower costs recruit more consumers, who make further cost savings possible.

It’s those savings from scale that drove Impossible Foods’ latest price cuts. “Over the last year, we’ve more than doubled our production,” Woodside said. “The more that we are selling, the better utilization we have of our manufacturing lines, the better prices we get from our supplies, the more suppliers we can bring into the plant-based ecosystem.”

And while the ultimate goal of every plant-based foods expert I’ve spoken to is price parity with animal meat, price cuts make a big difference even before they reach that point. Cheaper plant-based meat means options for more consumers and more restaurants. It also means less demand for animal products at a time when prices are high, animal welfare is ignored, and Congress is investigating coronavirus outbreaks at slaughterhouses. There’s a long road ahead, but a 20 percent price cut is a substantial step forward.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (211)2/7/2021 7:31:20 AM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 214
 
Is color additive that makes Impossible Burgers "bleed" safe?

BY KATE GIBSON
CBS News
FEBRUARY 4, 2021 / 3:18 PM / MONEYWATCH

A genetically engineered color additive that makes Impossible Foods' plant-based burgers appear to "bleed" like real meat should not have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration without more extensive testing, a food advocacy group says.

The Center for Food Safety is challenging the FDA's 2019 approval of soy leghemoglobin, a so-called heme colorant produced in genetically engineered yeast that is used in the vegan burgers now sold in supermarkets and restaurants across the country, according to a court documents filed last week.

"Because [genetically engineered] heme is new to the human diet, and substantial quantities are added to the Impossible Burger, FDA should have required extensive safety testing before approving its use as a color additive, as required by law," the nonprofit group said in a statement.

According to Bill Freese, the center's science policy analyst, the federal agency gave the substance the green light without long-term animal studies looking at potential adverse effects including cancer and reproductive impairment.

"We find this to be all the more troubling because a number of potential adverse effects were detected in a short-term rat trial: disruption of reproductive cycles and reduced uterine weights in females, and biomarkers of anemia, reduced clotting ability, and kidney problems," Freese said.

Reached for comment, an FDA spokesperson said by email that the agency does not comment on possible, pending or ongoing litigation.

Impossible Foods dismissed the notion that its products might be unsafe to consume, with a spokesperson saying in an email that all had "undergone rigorous safety testing and meet or exceed all relevant federal requirements."

The company also accused the Center for Food Safety of having an axe to grind against Impossible Foods, calling the non-profit focused on improving food production an "anti-GMO, anti-science organization."

Impossible Foods has seen explosive growth, with the plant-based protein maker's products sold worldwide. The California-based company recently introduced soy-based products mimicking pork and sausage, and its burgers are sold at major restaurant chains including Burger King.

While questioning what it terms the "premature introduction" of Impossible Foods products containing genetically engineered heme in supermarkets and restaurants across the country, the Center for Food Science said it "avidly supports plant-based eating."

Impossible Burger has said its vegan products are environmentally friendly as they use less land and water and produce fewer greenhouse gases than animal products do. But some health experts are skeptical of processed alternative burger products' nutritional values, saying they come with a fair helping of saturated fat, for instance.

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From: Glenn Petersen2/25/2021 7:32:22 PM
   of 214
 
Beyond Meat strikes deals with McDonald’s, Yum but shares fall on wider quarterly loss

PUBLISHED THU, FEB 25 20214:17 PM EST
UPDATED THU, FEB 25 20215:57 PM EST
Amelia Lucas
CNBC.com

KEY POINTS

-- Beyond Meat has struck deals with fast-food giants McDonald’s and Yum Brands.

-- The company fell short of Wall Street’s estimates for its fourth-quarter revenue, and it reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss.

-- The company declined to provide an outlook for 2021, citing the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

Beyond Meat on Thursday announced that it has struck deals with fast-food giants McDonald’s and Yum Brands, but shares fell on a disappointing earnings report.

The company posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss as the cost of global expansion and weak restaurant sales weighed on the business.

The company’s stock whipsawed in extended trading, initially falling on the earnings news, then rising on the supply agreement, driven by hopes that the new restaurant deals will fuel growth. Recently, shares were down about 3%.

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

Loss per share: 34 cents adjusted vs. 13 cents expected

Revenue: $101.9 million vs. $103.2 million expected

The company reported its fiscal fourth-quarter net loss of $25.1 million, or 40 cents per share, widened to a loss of $452,000, or 1 cent per share, a year earlier.

Excluding expenses attributed to the pandemic, Beyond lost 34 cents per share, wider than the loss of 13 cents per share expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

Net sales rose 3.5% to $101.9 million, missing expectations of $103.2 million. U.S. grocery revenues climbed 76% in the quarter, although the company noted that retail demand has moderated since the early stages of the crisis.

CEO Ethan Brown said that Beyond is still the top plant-based meat alternative in grocery stores, based on IRI data.

On the other hand, U.S. foodservice revenue tumbled 42.6% during the fourth quarter as the pandemic continued to weigh on restaurant demand for meat substitutes. But the years-long partnerships with McDonald’s and Yum show that restaurant companies still believe consumers want plant-based alternatives.

Under the new three-year deal with McDonald’s, Beyond will be the preferred patty supplier for its McPlant burger, which is being tested in some markets globally. McDonald’s and Beyond will also work together to develop new substitutes for pork, chicken and egg.

Likewise, Beyond and Yum will work together to make exclusive menu items for KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut over the next several years. Financial terms for both strategic partnerships were not disclosed.


Executives declined to elaborate further on the financial impact of the two partnerships during the conference call. However, Brown told analysts that the impact of the deals in 2021 is expected to be “fairly modest.”

“These deals are enormous,” Brown said. “They are the biggest deals you could possibly put together in food in our sector. And we don’t want people to get ahead of themselves.”

He also declined to provide more detail on its joint venture with PepsiCo, which was created to produce and distribute plant-based drinks and snacks.

The deals also come as Beyond tries to position itself as a global player. Its international revenue fell 16.5% during the quarter, dragged down by declines in its foodservice segment. The company noted that it spent more on expanding in Europe and China.

Other costs of the growing business included an increased headcount as it adds to its workforce, spending more on marketing and development and investments in its information technology infrastructure.

Brown also said that the company will release two updated versions of its meatless burger patties this spring. Both are its juiciest burgers yet, according to Brown, and one will boast 55% less saturated fat than a traditional 80/20 beef patty. The other, consistent with its current iteration, will contain 35% less saturated fat.

Beyond Meat declined to provide an outlook for 2021, citing the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

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From: Glenn Petersen3/29/2021 7:11:17 PM
   of 214
 
Vegan food unicorns are taking over the market

The plant-based meat and dairy industries are worth a combined $22B and are growing fast.

By: Ethan Brooks | @damn_ethan
The Huustle
March 24, 2021

There’s a new cow in town, and this one really is ready to jump over the moon.

NotCo is a Bezos-backed plant-based protein company from Chile that makes vegan milk, mayonnaise, ice cream, and burgers.

They’ve raised $120m so far thanks to Giuseppe, their patented AI software, which helps them analyze and develop new product recipes.

Now, they’re eyeballing a $1B valuation as they expand further into the US, Canada, and Mexico.

There’s a surprising number of vegan moo-nicorns

According to Lever VC, a leading investor in the alt-protein space, the plant-based meat and dairy industries are worth a combined $22B and are growing fast.

-- Just Inc. (plant-based eggs) is valued at $1B+

-- .Beyond Meat (plant-based meats) has an $8.8B market cap.

-- Oatly (oat milk) recently rais ked $200m at a $2B valuation and is reportedly targeting a $10B IPO.

The industry is projected to grow 31% YoY, reaching $85-$140B in the next 10-15 years — and, most likely, minting several new billion-dollar companies along the way.

The first-ever Chilean unicorn?

There’s another interesting angle here: If NotCo does hit a $1B valuation, it’ll be Chile’s first unicorn startup — vegan or not.

Despite pandemic woes, Latin America saw a record 488 VC deals in 2020, and Mexico and Uruguay minted their first billion-dollar startups.

NotCo — which so far only operates in Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and the US — is projecting 4x sales growth in 2021 as they move into even greener pastures.

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