Source: Beyond Meat
Beyond Meat launches beef substitute in grocery stores on Monday.
The new product will roll out over 5,000 across the country Hooks and Walmart shops, as well Albertsons, Ahold DelhaizeJewel-Osco, Sprouts and other local merchants.
The announcement caps a rocky month for the meat alternative maker. Beyond ousted Chief Operating Officer Doug Ramsey after he was arrested for allegedly biting another man̵[ads1]7;s nose. The company also announced plans to cut 19% of its workforce, or roughly 200 employees, as well as the departure of its chief financial officer and the elimination of the role of chief growth officer.
In the middle of the chaos, Beyond and Yum Brands’ Taco Bell began testing meatless carne asada using its Beyond Steak product at restaurants in Dayton, Ohio.
Beyond Steak, which will be sold in grocery stores, comes packaged in pieces. It uses faba bean protein as a base and contains 21 grams of protein per serving, according to the company. It also has a lower saturated fat content than beef and does not contain cholesterol. The 10-ounce package will retail for $7.99.
Historically, product launches have increased Beyond’s sales, driving new and returning customers to try the product. That would be welcome news for the company, which has seen sales plummet and investors lose hope about its long-term growth prospects.
In the second quarter, Beyond reported that U.S. grocery sales rose just 2.2% while restaurant revenue was down 2.4%. This year, shares of the company have lost 80% of their value, shrinking their market capitalization to $821 million. At a record high in July 2019, Beyond was valued at $13.4 billion.
The pandemic shift to eating at home and stocking pantries benefited Beyond and other plant-based meat companies. But many shoppers didn’t stick to eating meat alternatives once the novelty wore off, and inflation has put pressure on budgets, making the more expensive substitutes even less attractive to consumers.
Not every Beyond launch has been a hit. Shoppers weren’t too keen on Beyond Meat Jerky, a meat-free jerky made through the company’s joint venture with PepsiCo. Executives said in August that demand was below initial estimates. The snack item has also been very expensive for Beyond to produce, putting pressure on profit margins this year, although it is expected to slow.
Beyond is expected to report its third-quarter results after midnight on November 9.