In this file:


·         Investors Find More Reasons To Back Plant-Based Meat Brands

·         Tyson Foods Is Hopping on the Fake Meat Bandwagon

·         Impossible Burger Shortage Crisis Hits Atlanta Chain Grindhouse Killer Burgers

·         McDonald’s Debuts New Big Vegan TS Burger In Germany



Investors Find More Reasons To Back Plant-Based Meat Brands


Janet Forgrieve, Contributor, Forbes

May 9, 2019


May is turning out to be a another busy month for plant-based meat deals, with Beyond Meat’s record IPO last week and the news this week that Hain Celestial has sold its WestSoy meat replacement business. The buyer is Chicago-based Keystone Natural Holdings, whose portfolio includes other plant-based brands including VeggieLand and Nature’s Soy.


The deal includes WestSoy’s tofu, tempeh and seitan products but not its plant-based beverage line, and it’s the latest example of investors finding value in vegetarian and vegan meat alternatives amid growing consumer demand.


About one-third of the U.S. population is flexitarian, according to a letter by Good Food Institute Executive Director Bruce Friedrich. That means they’re eating at least some plant-based meals and looking for more ways to work plant-based foods into their diets


Friedrich’s letter is part of a report the non-profit GFI released this week showing that there has been a sharp rise in investments in plant-based meat, egg and dairy companies in recent years.


“Rather than confine their profits to the small portion of the population that is vegetarian, plant-based meat companies are using novel marketing strategies to target their products toward flexitarians,” he writes.


The payoff has been a surge in sales.  U.S. retailers booked a 17% rise in plant-based food sales over the past year, while total U.S. retail food sales grew only 2%, the report says. And investors are increasingly following the consumer trend.


Investments in plant-based food brands have topped $17 billion since 2009, with the lion’s share happening in the past two years, the report found. The investments included 233 deals and 228 unique investors.


Venture capital investors generated 43% of the deals done last year, the report says, and most venture capital investments in plant-based food brands come from impact investors who consider the social good as well as the potential for financial returns when deciding where to invest.


The three most active impact investors were Blue Horizon, New Crop Capital and Stray Dog Capital, which did 12 investments apiece, including follow-on investments in brands in which they already have a stake.


But the list of investors also includes a number of more traditional venture capital firms and the investment arms of legacy food companies, including Tyson Ventures, an early investor in Beyond Meat. Tyson sold its Beyond shares just before the IPO, and has since announced plans to develop and market its own line of plant-based meats.


Investments have funded both efforts by brands to perfect their existing product lines and launch new ones.


The rise in new products on the market includes a combination of offerings from startups and new items from legacy brands, and the success of younger brands like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods has spurred big players to innovate, the report says.


The top nine brands...


more, including links



Tyson Foods Is Hopping on the Fake Meat Bandwagon


The Motley Fool

via Yahoo Finance - May 9, 2019


Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) is the country's largest marketer of chicken, pork and beef, but that doesn't mean it can't spot the opportunity involved in catering to a less carnivorous demographic than its usual customer base: It announced this week that it will soon begin selling its own line of plant-based meat substitutes.


In this segment from MarketFoolery, host Chris Hill and analyst Emily Flippen talk about Tyson, its plans, its early stake in recently public Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND), the massive growth opportunities for the meat substitute market, and more.


To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool's free podcasts, check out our podcast center. A full transcript follows the video...


This video was recorded on May 7, 2019.


Chris Hill: Let's start with one of my favorite topics, and that is, of course, food. Specifically Tyson Foods, which is the parent company of Hillshire Farms. They're in the meat business. Tyson Foods making headlines because they announced this summer they're going to roll out their own line of plant-based meat substitutes. I did not realize that Tyson Foods was an early investor in Beyond Meat.


Emily Flippen: They were an early investor in Beyond Meat, and eventually sold their stake because Beyond Meat said they didn't want a competitor invested in them. And it's really interesting that they chose to announce this development now, right after we've just seen the crazy week last week with Beyond Meat's IPO. I think at this point, investing into meat alternatives, especially when you're a company like Tyson, is just smart business.


Hill: We've talked before about the marijuana industry, and how, yes, we expect that industry to grow, but we're not sure what direction it's going in; yes, there will be some winners. The meat substitute industry seems almost like a no-brainer.


Flippen: Seems like the marijuana industry? [laughs]


Hill: No, I was going to say, more so than the marijuana industry -- and we'll get to what happened with Beyond Meat in a second. But I look at this, and I really don't see how this industry doesn't grow dramatically over the next 25 to 50 years.


Flippen: Exactly. And when you look at actual meat, Tyson's core business, those products are really a commodity. They depend on supply. There's a lot of different variables that can disrupt that production. We're seeing a lot of that happening in China right now, both with pork and chicken. While that's a small part of Tyson, it's still notable, because it's acknowledging the fact that if there's a better, more sustainable, cheaper way we can give people protein, we should be exploring those alternatives.


It's concerning to me not that Tyson's is getting into it, but the fact that they were such an early investor in Beyond Meat and have just now decided to start putting out their own products, that begs the question of, what were you doing for the past three years?


Hill: On that point, it will be interesting to see, when they start to roll these out, what does that look like? Do they do it quietly? Do they make a big show of it? It may be, at that time, we start to get some more color from Tyson in terms of, "This is what we've been working on." Maybe not.


Let's just recap the last seven or eight days for Beyond Meat...


more, including video [5:15 min.]



Impossible Burger Shortage Crisis Hits Atlanta Chain Grindhouse Killer Burgers

Better call ahead for that Impossible Burger, just in case


by Beth McKibben, Eater Atlanta

May 9, 2019


The nationwide Impossible Burger shortage has reached Atlanta. Local burger empire Grindhouse Killer Burgers reports “sporadic outages” at its five restaurants across Atlanta and Athens. Owner Alex Brounstein encourages those seeking the meatless wonder that “bleeds” like the real thing to call ahead to ensure the faux burger is in stock.


“We apologize for the inconvenience and understand we have some big Impossible Burger fans,” Brounstein says in a prepared statement. “Stay tuned and stay strong, the menu offering should be available on a regular basis very soon.”


The Atlanta-based burger chain sells around 500 Impossibles a day between its five locations, and plans to offer it at its two Atlanta airport stalls this summer — or once the shortage crisis subsides. For now, those seeking a meatless alternative can order the veggie burger made with black beans, chickpeas, quinoa, onions, and carrots.


Grindhouse claims to be the first restaurant to bring the Impossible Burger to Atlanta in 2016, which is made from water, plant proteins, coconut oil, and heme — the yeast fermented molecule that provides that meaty taste.


Impossible Foods, the California-based creator of the faux meat product, sent a letter dated April 10, 2019 to food suppliers informing them a shortage was on the horizon and could last through May. This letter followed a week after Impossible’s partnership announcement with Burger King. In addition to Burger King, Impossible Foods serves over 7,000 restaurants around the country.


“We are facing short-term ramp-up challenges resulting from demand greatly outstripping supply,” an Impossible Foods spokesperson says. The company recently hired more staff and installed a second production line to replenish the Impossible “meat” supply.


Brounstein, who fears the shortage could last...


more, including links



McDonald’s Debuts New Big Vegan TS Burger In Germany


Bob Miller, ChewBoom

May 9, 2019


McDonald’s jumps on the meatless band wagon in Germany with the nationwide introduction of the new Big Vegan TS burger.


Described by the chain as “a meatless alternative with the real McDonald’s taste,” the Big Vegan TS features a patty made with soy and wheat, topped with Lollo Bionda lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onions, ketchup and mustard on a sesame seed bun.


The new Big Vegan TS burger replaces the Veggieburger TS on the McMenu at participating locations across Germany.


document, plus McD video product ad [1:05 min.]