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Beyond Meat and Pepsi have announced a new partnership to develop and distribute planet-based foods and beverages. This union will allow Beyond Meat to distribute and market their plant-based meat alternatives on a global scale.
Why This Matters: With PepsiCo’s help, Beyond Meat will be able to bring new products to market more quickly, and develop expanded product lines at a time when the public is demanding meat-free alternatives.
UBS research analyst Erika Jackson told CNN: “Historically, [Beyond’s] marketing spend has been nominal (primarily social media).” Pepsi could use their marketing prowess to introduce Beyond products to new customers. For example, a spokesperson for Beyond Meat told CNN that this joint venture could include a future expansion into China and the UK, bringing meat alternatives to a global audience.
Making the Switch: An expanded consumer base for meat alternatives can help cut down on meat consumption and the externalities that result.
This deal suggests that consumers are interested in alternatives to meat, and could drive change in the food industry. According to a survey from GlobalData, throughout December, almost a third (30%) of US consumers claim to be buying more plant-based alternative meats, and as of December, one out of five (22%) US consumers consider ethically sourced ingredients to be their top priority.
Ramsey Baghdadi, a consumer analyst at GlobalData, wrote in a statement on Tuesday: “Consumer demand for plant-based products is large enough to make an impact in sales, as the plant-based alternative industry continues to grow. PepsiCo’s decision to widen its existing selection of plant-based snacks will be a game changer in the long-term, as more consumers naturally gravitate towards the trend.”
Growing Demand for Plant-Based Products: PepsiCo has historically partnered with companies to establish itself in attractive markets—for instance, PepsiCo worked with Starbucks on ready-to-drink coffees in order to expand into the coffee sector.
Other consumer packaged goods companies have acquired plant-based meat companies or introduced new lines.
Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are more interested than ever in going plant-based, and brands and retailers are catching on.
Beyond Meat has also been working with new companies: in November, McDonald’s announced that it was launching the McPlant burger, a completely vegan burger created by the fast-food chain and Beyond Meat.
Though the companies did not disclose the financial terms of the PepsiCo-Beyond deal, news of the collaboration caused Beyond Meat’s stock price to increase in value, closing up about 18% on Tuesday. This indicates that the future of plant-based meat is certainly on the rise.
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