The “Green Movement” has given birth to all kinds of innovations, and Beyond Meat is one of the most popular… but is this plant-based meat a real alternative?

Raise your hand if you were raised on meat and potatoes.

If you could see me right now, you’d see my hand up. 

I grew up in an Italian household, so you might think a meat-and-potatoes combo wouldn’t be a staple, and to an extent, that’s correct. 

Pasta and meat, for sure, but potatoes rarely enter an Italian’s kitchen. 

Luckily, I had a dual upbringing, and I would spend most of my summers with my German-Scot grandparents, for whom meat and potatoes were a staple almost nightly. 

Now, while I do love me some pot roast, I’m more of a burger guy. Sure, steaks are great, and it’s rare to see me turn one down…but I’ll happily take a burger every day of the week. Give me some kind of a potato dish to accompany it, and you’ll see a big ol’ grin across my face.

But despite my carnivorous inclinations, I’ve got NOTHING against vegetarianism.

I’ve gone without meat through a couple of fasts, and I know I can sustain myself just fine on veggies and beans.

However, that doesn’t mean I want to.

I fully believe that humans are meant to eat meat. We have the tooth structure for it, and if you look at our closest relatives in nature, the apes, they’ll eat meat if they can get it.

But, that said, I recognize there’s a HUGE market for non-meat substitutes. I’m just not convinced it’s as big as some people want us to believe. 

Beyond Meat’s Trouble Begins

I say that because the biggest name in the non-meat substitute industry, Beyond Meat (BYND), reported worse-than-expected results late last week.

The whole angle behind Beyond Meat is that it tastes just as good as the genuine article.

That may very well be the case–I’ve yet to try it myself–but it’s hard to convince millions of people that this plant-based meat substitute is as delicious as the real thing. 

We’re a nation raised on meat and potatoes, and it’s going to take a huge shift in the paradigm to get people to accept a meal of meat-shaped plants.

Beyond Meat seems to have run into a wall convincing people to buy their product. 

Right now, Beyond Meat makes more than half of its revenue from selling its beef, pork, and chicken-free burgers, sausages, and patties. Unfortunately for them, weak demand, higher discounts, and more competition from other plant-based brands created the perfect storm of a crush for BYND, and now the company’s retail sales revenue is down 20% from the last quarter of the year prior.

What makes this surprising is that Beyond Meat sold MORE products internationally and in the US restaurant market than ever before.

But it wasn’t enough to offset the loss of their market share in grocery stores–and that means that Beyond Meat’s overall revenue shrank by 1% last quarter. 

That’s bad…but it gets worse. 

More Bad Luck For Beyond Meat

Supply chain issues and higher costs caused the company’s losses to actually TRIPLE last quarter, which is why investors said they’ve enough and the stock tanked more than 10%. 

And here’s where the story takes an even bleaker turn: Beyond Meat’s outlook for 2022 missed expectations. 

As I said, trying to get millions of people off beef and onto plants isn’t the easiest of jobs and the growth of the plant-based meat market is slowing down at an alarming rate. 

In fact, US sales of plant-based meat–which grew 46% in 2020–fell 0.5% last year.

The prevailing theory behind this is that consumers just don’t actually like the taste of meat alternatives–and at a higher price point, it’s just easier, cheaper, and TASTIER to stay on beef.  

But here’s what may be the nail in Beyond Beef’s coffin…

The war between Russia and Ukraine can easily disrupt the 25% share of global wheat trade as well as 20% of the corn supply given that both crops are produced extensively in both countries.  

With the war taking precedence over food production, how much do you think it’s going to affect food supply overall, let alone the supplies to make non-meat alternatives that people don’t want? 

And, just to make matters a little bit worse, this company has a terrible StockPower rating. Beyond Meat (BYND) is coming in at a “High-Risk” score of 2. 

It’s as if the world is conspiring against them. 

Maybe it’s just not time for this food innovation.

Maybe the world isn’t ready for plant-based meat alternatives.

But what we do know is that things are NOT looking good for this company–and as we move on through 2022, it seems that things will only get worse. 

We still wish them luck.

We hate to see any company go the way of the Dodo–but if there were a company I could see going extinct, it would be this one. 

People just aren’t ready to relinquish their burgers yet…

And I don’t know if we ever will be. 

“I want Books and Babies and Beef stews.” – Sylvia Plath