As deficits continue to pour, Beyond Meat turns to health messaging

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Beyond Meat, Inc.’s management team continues to run a deficit as it struggles to find products and marketing messages that resonate with consumers and spark demand for its plant-based meat products. In the coming year, consumers will hear more about the health bona fides of the company’s products.

Over the past three years, the company has worked with organizations such as the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association and the Clean Label Project to ensure its products meet each organization’s approved standards. Beyond Meat’s management team believes that marketing messaging that focuses on the nutritional content of its products will provide differentiation in the market.

The centerpiece of the campaign is the Beyond IV burger, which has been reformulated with avocado oil, red lentils, broad beans and other ingredients to have 2 grams of saturated fat and 20 percent less sodium than traditional ground meat.

“…the product, now in general distribution later this month, has been well received not only by the medical community, but also by the nutrition and registered dietitian communities, and we are very confident that it addresses the No. 1 patient in the category. A question,” Chief Executive Ethan Brown said on a May 8 conference call to discuss first-quarter results.

“You can trust that the product has the health benefits you expect. So this is a very different situation than what we faced a year ago, when there was so much negative noise about the category.

As the company’s financial performance continued to deteriorate in the first quarter of fiscal 2024, the turn to health cannot come soon enough. The company lost $59 million.

Quarterly sales fell 18% to $75.6 million from $92.2 million a year earlier.

The total volume of products sold fell 16.1% in the quarter, resulting in lower sales. Specifically, international foodservice volume fell 25% this quarter, and U.S. foodservice volume fell nearly 21%.

In U.S. retail, Beyond Meat’s net sales fell 16% to $37.1 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2024, compared with $44.2 million in the same period last year. Sales volume fell 10.2% due to weak demand in the category and the discontinuation of the Beyond Jerky product line.

The company expects fiscal 2024 sales to be in the range of $315 million to $345 million. Beyond Meat’s sales for the fiscal year ending 2023 were $343.4 million. Management said it expects a variety of factors to impact sales, including macroeconomic uncertainty, weak demand for plant-based meats, high interest rates and concerns about an economic recession.

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