Vegan food groups: lean, green, growth machines
US meatless burger maker Beyond Meat is cooking something appetising
Opinion Lex, Financial Times
Dec 5, 2018
Pour out a celebratory glass of dairy-free milk: plant-based proteins are about to get their first taste of public market life. LA-based meatless burger maker Beyond Meat has filed for an $100m initial public offering. Something appetising is cooking.
Consumers with health and ethical concerns have made veganism more popular. A survey of Brits found 7 per cent identify as veganó up from 1 per cent three years ago. The market for meat alternatives is more than $4bn worldwide, says MarketsandMarkets, a research firm. In the last year Beyond Meat made just $33m in sales. It can grow within veganism.
But the company has its sights set on a bigger prize: meat eaters. Its products aim to replicate the taste and look of beefburgers and chicken strips. Plant-based milks account for more than 10 per cent of dairy sales. If plant-based proteins can replicate that success in the $1.4tn global meat market then Beyond Meat is looking at a possible $140bn market.
Purists think the only proper meat substitute is a vegetable. They are missing the point. Flesh tastes good enough to make carnivores ignore the grim reality of slaughterhouses and global warming. An alternative that mimics the taste of meat might convince them to switch.
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