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Nice to meat you: California-based meat-alternative company, Beyond Meat, is an $8.3bn company with “strong ambitions” in Europe


processed, and because of that, we’re seeing some increased interest in plant-based protein as the category continues to grow,” Mr Muth says. “As the role of food and health has never been more top-of-mind, we’re encouraging our consumers to understand that the positive choices we all make, no matter how small, can have a great impact on our personal health and the health of our planet.” Beyond Meat is investing heavily


(6.8% of 2019 revenues) in research and development (R&D) to win over the palate of consumers. “Indistinguishable” from animal protein is one of two main mantras of the company, the other being “accessible”. The two things do not necessarily go hand in hand, as better taste requires more R&D spending, which puts pressure on pricing, although the company is committed to selling at least one product at price parity with its animal protein equivalent by 2024. If the pandemic has created


some bottlenecks in the value chain


of animal proteins, thus pushing up the price of meat, price parity is still far off. Besides, in a scenario of protracted economic uncertainty, consumers will gravitate towards more affordable options. Another challenge moving


forward is growing competition from incumbent food giants such as Tyson Food (an early investor in Beyond Meat) and Nestlé, says PitchBook’s Mr Frederick. An increasing number of companies are investigating plant-based products and the number of FDI projects the segment is generating has touched new highs in 2019, according to foreign investment monitor fDi Markets. But the biggest challenge may


come from another source, as traditional meat producers challenge the use of the term to describe Beyond Meat’s products, something that is integral to its marketing strategy. While the company does not need animals, it may need the regulator’s approval in order to create ‘meat’.■


August/September 2020 www.fDiIntelligence.com


THEPOSITIVE CHOICESWE ALL MAKE,NOMATTERHOW SMALL,CANHAVEAGREAT IMPACTONOURHEALTH ANDOURPLANET


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