Who Wants Fake Meat During a Pandemic? Apparently No One.


Source: Center for Consumer Freedom

March 17, 2020


They say a picture is worth a thousand words; these photos look as though they’re worth a thousand dollars of “plant-based meat” left on the shelves. As The Wall Street Journal put it, “The Beyond Meat isn’t flying off the shelves.”


As customers flock to stores to stock up on essentials it looks as though fake meat has been left behind. Given the ultra-processed nature of these products, it’s no surprise…


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Americans Drop Kale and Quinoa to Lock Down With Chips and Oreos


    Consumers stock up on shelf-stable items such as soup and Spam

    Move reverses trend that saw consumers opt for fresher fare


By Jen Skerritt, Lydia Mulvany, and Isis Almeida, Bloomberg

March 21, 2020  


Out with the Tuscan kale and acai berries, in with the Spam and popcorn.


In a stark reversal, American shoppers who were taking up healthier eating are gravitating back to old ways as they hunker down to weather the coronavirus pandemic. They are loading up on shelf-stable items from canned meat and soup to pretzels and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese as they comply with orders to stay home.


The shift back from healthier fare toward traditional staples may boost the fortunes of packaged food companies, which have been struggling with lagging sales as consumers opted for fresher alternatives.


General Mills Inc., Tyson Foods Inc., Campbell Soup Co. and Kraft Heinz Co. saw sales gains between 10% and 20% in the rolling four weeks that ended March 8 for items such as soup and breakfast food, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Diana Rosero-Pena said in a Thursday report, citing IRI data. Hormel Food Corp.’s sales of Spam increased as much as 37% and Oreo-maker Mondelez International Inc. saw growth in the sales of cookies and crackers.


Americans aren’t holding back on treating themselves, either. Popcorn sales rose nearly 48% in the week ended March 14, compared with a year earlier, while pretzel sales were up 47% and potato chip sales surged 30%, according to Nielsen data.


“People are retreating back into comfort habits,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jennifer Bartashus. “There’s a lot of uncertainty and in those kind of times people tend to retreat to what’s known to them and what’s comforting to them.”


Meat eaters are no longer cutting back on animal protein as beef cases at grocery stores have been cleaned out and profit margins for packers have spiked to all-time highs.


Shares of Tyson and Sanderson Farms Inc. were upgraded as outstanding retail demand for meat is more than offsetting soft demand at food service, JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts Ken Goldman and Anoori Naughton said in a note.


Meat is “flying off the shelves” and in some locations there are completely empty rows of dried meat snacks, according to the report.


Milk is also seeing a boost after decades of poor sales and dwindling consumption. Cows milk sales increased 32% for the week ended March 14 compared with a year earlier, according to Nielsen.


“The things that they considered the laggers in their portfolio that they were trying to move away from are now suddenly the same of attention,” said Nick Fereday, executive director of food and consumer trends at Rabobank...


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