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Home » Cost Of Living: Beyond Meat Hit As Inflation Squeezes Shoppers

Cost Of Living: Beyond Meat Hit As Inflation Squeezes Shoppers

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption, A Beyond Meat burger is prepared at COP25 in Madrid, Spain in 2019

By Annabelle Liang

Business reporter

Vegan food firm Beyond Meat has seen its sales plunge by almost a third as the rising cost of living squeezes shoppers.

The plant-based meat substitute maker says net revenues fell by 30.5% for the three months to the end of June, compared to a year earlier.

Shares of the company fell by almost 12% in extended trading in New York.

Last year, it announced plans to cut almost a fifth of its workforce to save around $39m (£30.6m) of costs.

On Monday, the company said it had been affected by “softer demand in the plant-based meat category, high inflation, rising interest rates, and ongoing concerns about the likelihood of a recession”.

It added that it now expected annual revenue of between $360m to $380m, down from earlier estimates of as much as $415m.

Demand has also been hit by an increased scrutiny of the health benefits of vegan products, Beyond Meat’s chief executive Ethan Brown said.

“This change in perception is not without encouragement from interest groups who have succeeded in seeding doubt and fear around the ingredients and process used to create our and other plant-based meats,” Mr Brown added during an earnings call.

For the same three-month period Beyond Meat’s net loss narrowed to $53.5m, down from $97.1m a year earlier.

In October, the company said it would cut around 200 jobs to save an estimated $39m in costs over 12 months.

Beyond Meat – which makes plant-based burgers, sausages and nuggets – made its stock market debut on New York’s Nasdaq exchange in May 2019.

Its shares ended their first day of trading up by more than 160%, making it one of the most successful initial public offerings (IPOs) in recent years.

However, the company now faces competition from the likes of food giants Kellogg and Tyson Foods.

It is not alone in its struggles, with other food makers seeing falling demand for meat alternatives.

In June, vegan food company Meatless Farm stopped trading and let its staff go, while sausage producer Heck recently reduced its vegan range citing lack of consumer demand.

The Vegan Society has said the cost-of-living crisis in the UK is having a “big impact” on people’s purchasing choices, while Meatless Farm said the market for alternative meat had become crowded.

Beyond Meat’s shares are currently valued at around $15 each, well below its $25 IPO price.