‘We believe this is still very much a two-horse race’

Beyond Meat has “had a rough go of it due to the pandemic​,” experiencing a sharp decline in foodservice sales offset by solid but slowing growth in US retail as rival Impossible Foods has aggressively ramped up its retail presence, said Bernstein in a note to investors this week.

However, things are looking up, said the firm: “We expect ​[US] foodservice channels to rebound as consumer mobility improves post the pandemic … the rebound could be even sharper in international foodservice channels, which were meaningfully harder hit in Europe than in the US during the pandemic due to the relative scarcity of drive-thru options.”

Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods ‘still enjoy more than twice the in-store velocity of other brands​’

Looking ahead, Beyond Meat’s new plant in the Netherlands will improve its cost structure in Europe, while its global relationshipwithMcDonald’s​  ​could “buoy sales meaningfully over the course of 2022 and beyond,” ​speculated Bernstein [for the next three years, Beyond Meat is the preferred supplier of the McPlant platform’s burger patty, recently trialed in Denmark and Sweden, and will also work with McDonald’s on plant-based chicken, pork and egg products under the McPlant umbrella].

Supplying plant-based burger patties to McDonald’s in the US alone could generate anywhere between $168-$305m in annual sales for Beyond Meat, calculated Bernstein. “Wesuspect the company will want to launch in the US market in the not-too-distant future, although… current expectations are that the McPlant platform will likely start to roll out more broadly sometime in 2022.”

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