Inside a Beyond Meat Burger and the Plant Based Protein Market


Dylan Lewis: Hey, there! I’m Dylan Lewis
from The Motley Fool. Today we’re going to be going inside a Beyond Meat patty and inside
the market for plant-based alternatives to get a sense of what
it might look like for the future. Earlier this week, I went to my neighborhood
Giant and picked up some Beyond Meat patties, as well as a couple of patties from their
competitors and some fixings for burgers. We’re going to dive into exactly what is in
these burgers, as well as what the competitive landscape looks like for Beyond Meat,
their competitor Impossible Foods, and some of the other big meat players out there.
First, though, a little background on Beyond Meat. Beyond Meat was founded in 2009 by
Ethan Brown, and you could first get their patties about 2013. But most people didn’t really
hear much about this business up until the lead-up to its IPO in 2019. Its IPO was
a resounding success with shares spiking 160% on the first day. The stock has been one of
the best performers on the market in 2019. More on that later.
First, let’s dive into these burgers. Beyond Meat offers the Beyond Burger, the
Beyond Sausage, as well as Beyond Beef, ideal for meatballs, and Beyond Beef Crumbles, perfect
for taco nights. The company uses peas, mung beans, and rice in order to bring protein
to their patties, and try to get that meat consistency that people are used to.
They’re also able to achieve the bleeding that you might expect with meat thanks to the inclusion
of beet juice. Oh, and if you look in there, there’s a little bit of marbling. They’re able to
achieve that with cocoa butter and coconut oil. If you look at Beyond Meat’s website, it’s clear — they’re looking to get beyond just
the core vegetarian and vegan market and get into the grocery baskets of core meat eaters.
They even have their products in the meat section of most grocery stores. If you look
at the demographics behind vegetarian and veganism, it’s pretty clear why — while there
may be far more vegetarian and vegan options out there, and tons of restaurants catering
specifically to vegetarians and vegans, those attitudes probably aren’t as widely held as
you might expect them to be. In 2018, Gallup polled a thousand U.S. Americans. In that poll,
they found that 5% of Americans consider themselves vegetarian, and 3% consider themselves
vegan. Now, Gallup has actually done this poll several times over the past 20 years,
and those percentages have pretty much held even. When you factor in U.S. population growth,
it’s likely there are more people that are considering themselves vegan or vegetarian;
but those attitudes are not more widespread than they were 20 years ago. So, for Beyond Meat
and its core competitor, Impossible Foods, to really make it into the big time,
they need to move past the vegan and vegetarian markets and get meat eaters to
occasionally choose plant-based alternatives. This is particularly true because,
if you look at the demographics, the people that are most likely to identify as vegetarian
are people that are probably priced out of buying Beyond Meat products. In that Gallup
survey, the vegetarian rate is highest among people that make less than $30,000 a year, at 9%.
That number is nearly twice the other income brackets polled. People have theorized
that vegetarianism is higher in low income brackets because meat is generally an
expensive item add to your grocery basket. And, when you look at the prices for Beyond Meat products,
it’s clear they’re more expensive than the average meat product. At the grocery store
near me, their eight-ounce package of two patties cost $5.99. For that amount, you could
buy a pound and a half pounds to two pounds of ground beef. Right now, it’s clear that
production costs for Beyond Meat are simply too high for them to meet consumers that are most
likely to buy vegetarian or vegan-oriented products. So, the big hope
for these businesses is that over time, more people opt for vegan and
vegetarian diets, but also that frequent meat eaters will occasionally choose plant-based proteins
instead. There are some reasons to think that that might happen. Increasing awareness on
the global impact of our production and consumption of beef might be enough to push people that way.
We’ve reached a point where cattle produces as much near-term climate impact as cars,
and cattle ranching is one of the leading causes of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.
These environmental issues make a strong case for plant-based protein alternatives, especially
when you consider animal welfare and the impact of increased factory farming.
All told, the current market for plant-based proteins is somewhere between $12 billion
and $14 billion, or just about half of what U.S. food giant Tyson will make in 2019 selling
chicken, beef and pork. That said, there are some huge estimates for where this market
could go. Analysts over at Barclays ballpark that the market could reach $140 billion over
the next decade, growing at a compound annual growth rate of about 25% and ultimately
becoming about 10% of the global meat market. These kinds of estimates, plus the fact that
Beyond Meat is the only pure-play way to invest in plant-based proteins has pushed
shares of Beyond into incredible territory. It’s driven a lot of demand for Impossible
Foods once it ultimately IPOs. It’s also pushed the valuation for these companies well beyond
their core business results. Over the past 12 months, Beyond Meat has sold roughly
$165 million in meat alternatives. As of taping, the company is worth about $9 billion.
So, Beyond’s shares are currently trading at 55X the company’s trailing sales, and the company
is worth half of an industry that they only own 1% of sales. Put another way,
this is the meat alternatives market, and this is how much Beyond Meat is worth,
and this is how much Beyond Meat actually does in sales in meat alternatives.
Beyond Meat has been consistently doubling its revenue each year, and posting pretty
impressive growth, but those types of valuations are usually reserved for software companies
that are incredibly high-margin — think 70% to 80%. Beyond Meat’s
margins are somewhere around 28%. To go back to our raw meat assistant here
for a second, if this is $1 in Beyond Meat sales, this is how much is left over when
you account for actually creating the product that you’re buying. But there are more expenses
to account for. Beyond Meat has an R&D budget, a sales team, marketing — all of the things
that go into actually running a business. When you get to the bottom line for Beyond Meat,
the company is losing money. That’s not rare for a young business, but it’s an important
thing for investors to understand. Alright, why don’t we take these and throw
them on the grill, and we’ll wrap up outside? The bet that investors are making is that
Beyond and Impossible will become the Kleenex of plant-based proteins. Both brands are doing
quite a bit to gain mindshare in consumers’ heads. This fall, you’ll notice that Subway
is offering Beyond Meat meatballs in their meatball marinara sub, and Dunkin’ Donuts
is also offering sausage patties from Beyond as part of their breakfast sandwiches.
Now, Impossible partnered up with Burger King to create the Impossible Whopper.
Really, all of these are efforts to legitimize and mainstream plant-based proteins, because more
and more competition is coming for these companies. Even over the past few months,
major players like Nestle, Hormel, and Tyson have announced some form or plan for
a plant-based protein product. Now, as the major players come in, they’re likely going to be able to
come in at a lower price, meaning the brand identity for Impossible and Beyond is going
to be all the more important. Even in going to Giant to prepare for this shoot, I wound
up seeing something that I hadn’t noticed before on supermarket shelves. Here we have
a product from Pure Farmland, which is actually owned by Smithfield, a major food company
in the United States. For the same price as eight ounces of Beyond Meat, I was
able to get 16 ounces of their product. If Beyond can become a major brand name and
a go-to for traditional meat-eaters when they’re looking for meat alternatives, it could mean
big business. If not, it could spell trouble for the company. For now, though, the soaring
stock price and the series of partnerships with other nationwide chains has worked.
I’m a traditional meat eater, and even when I have my summer cookouts, I wind up grabbing
a couple of patties of Beyond Meat burgers. Now, my producer, Austin Morgan, is not yet a convert.
He hasn’t tried anything from Beyond or Impossible. We’re going to
see how he feels about them. Lewis: You want some onions?
Austin Morgan: I’m good. Your girlfriend will
probably appreciate that. Lewis: Fiancée.
Morgan: She doesn’t like onions either. Lewis: It’d be really awkward if she loved
them. So, I’m going for the potato buns. I feel like that’s one of the easiest ways to
immediately raise the profile of any burger. Are we good?
Morgan: Good. Lewis: Alright, which one are you going with first?
Morgan: Let’s go with the burgers, see what we got. Lewis: Alright. Thoughts?
Morgan: It’s weird. Lewis: Does it taste like meat?
Morgan: No. It does not. Lewis: Does it taste good?
Morgan: It’s not bad, but it’s not good. Lewis: [laughs] I will say, though,
with all the lettuce and tomato and cheese, all the markings of a burger —
Taste test No. 2. Let’s try the sausage. Oh, you’re still on the burger.
Morgan: I don’t know if I like it. [laughs] Lewis: Alright.
I’ve heard the sausage is better. Morgan: I’ve also heard
the same thing. Let’s give it a shot. That’s better than the burger. Lewis: Yep. Morgan: It tastes like a sausage. 
Lewis: I think because sausage is just inherently processed meat, it’s a lot easier to replicate
the texture of that. I had a feeling this might happen, so I also
bought ground beef. [laughs] If you’ve had an Impossible or a Beyond Meat
burger, we want to know your thoughts. And if you haven’t and you’re not going to,
we also want to know your thoughts. We’re trying to learn a little bit more about the plant-based
protein space, and what consumer attitudes are towards it. Drop those down in the comments
section below. Also, if you have an idea for a future one, we’re looking for them. We want
to know what our viewers are into and what might make for great content here on YouTube.
Drop that down in the comments section. Of course, if you haven’t already, please
like the video and be sure to subscribe and get more content like this from
The Motley Fool. It sounds silly, but when you do stuff like that, it puts us in a position to make
more content like this, and Austin and I love doing that, so please help us out.

67 thoughts on “Inside a Beyond Meat Burger and the Plant Based Protein Market

  1. For guys it’s better to eat beyond meat over impossible brand. Impossible uses soy to put protein into the food where beyond meat does not…. I think this will be a deciding factor for a lot of people on choosing which brand to buy.

  2. I bought the stock on the second day oh, and I did see a huge gain in its worth. Since I'm not a huge mover and Shaker in the stock market, I blew the opportunity to sell when it was at its highest, and now it's very low.

  3. I have tried both Beyond and Impossible burgers and sausages. I prefer Beyond and like them a lot. I am not a vegetarian.

  4. Unrelated to the actual content, I find it so weird when you use the second camera and you are staring off into space.

  5. Here’s $25 to start investing on Stash. You can invest in industries like legal marijuana, technology, and more with just $5 at a time. Use my link to get a $25 bonus: https://get.stashinvest.com/johnnyr1bni

  6. Love the video. Keep doing these kind as well. Haven't tried meatless burgers and I'm pretty sure I would react the same way as Austin did. I do care about the environment but there are many more concerning things to the environment which needs to be handled before animals.

  7. Unpossibly beyond meatless Mondays?

    Or, "Cook what you want, but eat what you cook."

    https://www.pri.org/stories/2019-10-09/finlands-answer-food-waste-best-actually-good-later-discount

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/solar-powered-dehydrator-could-help-small-farmers-reduce-food-waste-180973221/

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/lanabandoim/2019/10/31/fda-usda-and-epa-team-up-with-food-waste-reduction-alliance/#1a0f5d6574e5

    https://youtu.be/LMVLDu_ajKE

  8. Am now fascinated by the Tesla of Meat comparisons I’m currently seeing. Even though I’m PUT to buy at under $70

  9. Why don't you have the 1LB block of Beyond Meat?

    it is only 6 dollars a pound

    half the cost

    you have the prepackaged burger patty instead. that is twice as much. so your stats are wrong

    Beyond meat is much less expensive than you are representing.

  10. Beyond Meat is not losing money

    did you even pay attention to their latest Earnings Report?

    this video came out today. no excuse for these lies

  11. I take the Beyond Meat 1lb block and mix it one part Beyond Meat to One part Ground Flaxseeds w/water

    This takes away the bad smell of the coconut oil, and adds healthy fats Omega 3 and Vitamin E

    Ground Flaxseeds also have no Salt, so you cut the Sodium of the Beyond Burger in half

    Ground Flaxseeds also have Lignans which help fight against Cancer.

  12. I cooked the beyond meat pattie at home and the smell and taste were terrible when eaten alone. It’s only with other things that the taste is hidden.

  13. This is a great product. 🙂 It is better for the planet.🌎 Eating animals is weird, and bad for your health. 🐄🐖🐓🐠🐥

  14. meat is not expensive. If you buy a fatty peace of meat and calculate how much money you pay per calorie it's very affordable.

  15. I prefer Beyond meat to Impossible meat, especially with the newer version of Beyond burgers. The texture and flavor are much better. But the best thing about Beyond meat is that it does NOT have heme in it. Impossible burgers uses heme, even though it's plant based, it is still heme. As noted in recent documentaries and past studies, even a small consumption of heme in the diet significantly increases risk for cardiovascular disease.

  16. I think you should do a bear vs bull with two analysts that disagree on a business. This would help the viewer hear both sides rather than just the bull case we usually hear. Facebook, Tesla, or Netflix would be easy targets with people on both sides. I would love to hear a bear case on Square, Shopify, or Mercadolibre since they seem universally loved in Fooldom. Thanks.

  17. I’ve only eaten Impossible Burgers a few times. I’ve shyed away from Beyond products as every review I’ve read puts them lower than Impossible product. After seeing this, I will try the Beyond sausage though. Really, my only objection is the price point. The local gourmet burger place sells a 2/3 lb burger for a dollar under the 1/3 lb Impossible burger. If that price dropped to “close” to parity, I’d eat more.

  18. So much more intelligent than a typical motley fool print article.

    I have had my fridge stocked with beyond meat products since 2017. I just made a big pot of chili with beyond beef last night.

  19. Thank you for producing this video. I appreciate the sensible approach. I will run out and get some Beyond and Impossible to test. I hold their shares in a recent dip purchase…but tentatively on edge of my seat as reality kicks in for this industry with headwinds. You put a lot into perspective regarding the market size and potential inroads to cross into the meat space. I'll hold my shares for now, but… Maybe not beyond the impossible.

  20. I've tried both Beyond Meat (BM) (burgers/sausage) and the Impossible Burger (IB) at Burger King.  I think meat eaters come in with a tainted view instead of being open about alternatives for their health.  I know the BM and IB products are predominately for meat eaters but vegans do not get the respect to have their Impossible Burger cooked on a grill without other meats products.  We have to get our burgers microwaved and ask them not to put any mayo on our burgers but we still pay the same price.  BM is so good but the price is not my favorite but as vegan I appreciate their effort and understand that the meat eater population are more important in order to gain marketshare.  Thank so this test, the info was awesome to learn but I do not believe the taste test was biased. It is not about "liking" BM over a beef burger.  It is about the planet and what we are loosing globally for every beef burger/sausage that hits meat eaters plate and their health is at real risk.  Thanks for doing this.  I hope to learn more from you soon.

  21. Beyond beef is better than the other burgers on our market, I hope all the other makers can compete with taste and texture, beyond beef is way beyond the others, I do wish the others luck because they will need it.

  22. Love the Beyond Meat Patties and the Sausages! We went Vegetarian (me) Vegan (hubby) 2 years ago, do not miss eating dead animals! Hope that Beyond Meat products will become more available though, hard to find the Patties & Sausages in regular grocery stores, have to go to Whole Foods Market or Organic Food Stores where I can usually find them and then stock up and freeze them. Bought their Stock, unfortunately too late but not late enough… 😐 but will hold on for now, glad it is now on the MF radar!

  23. I'm new to being a vegetarian due to health reasons. I'm loving the rise and excitement of these meat alternatives. I just hate that these vegan nazis are making it all about them and creating hate noise on something that they will benefit from as a side effect of this rise. Especially considering this product category is not really targeted to actual vegans, they just need to get their heads out of their holes and look at the bigger picture lol

  24. From an investment standpoint I’m not sure this is a winner. Just like real sausages, other companies will make similar products and they will become commoditized. I think I read somewhere Kroger is considering developing it’s own pea based fake meat products. Just as people choose to purchase pork or chicken sausages; in the future they may choose between soybean-based sausages or Pea protein-based sausages. It would be interesting to know if beyond meat or impossible burgers has any sort of IP or patent protection.

  25. I have been eyeing off Beyond Meat as an investment for a while now. They have had a rough 3 months in the market. I can't decide if it'll get better or worse. Ethically, I think it's probably better for the cows, and the environment. As it's so processed, I'm not sure if it is better for your health. Meat eaters, the market they need, don't seem to love the taste.

  26. If you dont think eating animals is contributing to global warming the conversation is over. The plant based foods are trying to imitate the taste of meat and if they are successful why wouldn't you try it. Personally I have been able to maintain a desired weight eating plant based.

  27. I love the Italian sausages I think it's the spices, I use it in spaghetti,tacos,nachos, is there ground crumbles in a spicy usage..pleaseee send it to Texas

  28. Tried beyond meat burgers for the first time two days ago. Uncooked product smelled like canned dog food. Cooked patties were ok, but not great. At the significantly higher price, I would not buy them again. I think competition will bring prices down; then I might buy and mix with regular 80/20 ground chuck. Thanks.

  29. I found myself here while eating my first beyond meat burger here in Aus. You were on the money that i'm a massive meat eater but have decided for my health / environment i could do with eating less every now and then. My thoughts? Exactly what the other dude said. Weird, not bad but not particularly good. I do wonder how much is my own perception but it did taste quite different to me. I've actually also tried the hungry jacks (burger king) Rebel whopper and that was probably better, but still not amazing. That being said i actually craved it today but perhaps thats all the other shit they put in it 😛

  30. So the company is losing money, and I need to INVEST NOW??

    A vegan stock won’t hold up. You can talk all you want. Making up 3% of the population isn’t enough for me to invest in.

    Again, talk all the smack you want about the ‘chance’ that Vegan sticks will increase. People don’t want a burger made out of nuts. This is America for Christ’s sake.

  31. I bought today since I dont care if it looses value, this is where the world is going, just in Sweden, the vegan burger joints that use Beyond started popping and they kinda stick, whenever we go we cant find anywhere to sit. Maybe itll take a while for people to get used to but I have trust in them as a company.

  32. 9:25

    You’re welcome

    ‘It’s weird. Doesn’t taste like meat. I don’t know if I like that.’ spoken from a first time tester.

    That’s all I needed to hear. The honest truth.

  33. I thought the first bites if the beyond meat burger were good when it was hot off the grill. Halfway through, I stopped. Didn't like the burger anymore.

  34. I have tried both of these many times and I have found a big secret to making them have a very similar texture and taste to meat, make sure you DO NOT overcook them. Like a burger or a sausage, they get dry and less tasty. Get yourself one of those cheap instant read thermometers and cook them to 165 F. Actually, pull them off at about 155 F to 160 F as the carryover heat will finish them the rest of the way. I promise it will make a big difference. BTW, I too like the sausage better, and find this brand a LOT better than the others who do not specialize in meat alternatives….they are still learning how to do this.

  35. I tried both Impossible Burger and the Beyond Meat burger and I thought that the Impossible Burger tasted much better (and it was much closer to a beef burger) than Beyond Meat.

  36. I did a taste test of both the Beyond Meat burger from Carl's Jr., and the Impossible Whopper from Burger King. While Carl's Jr. has better cooking technique, I found the burger had a bitter taste, a yellowish tinge, and did not look or taste like meat. I had greater expectations for the Impossible Whopper, even though I think Burger King does not prepare their food as well as Carl's Jr. I had also heard that Impossible Foods had incorporated a protein that simulated blood, making the burger look and taste juicy. That said, the Impossible Whopper meat was dry, with no apparent juicy quality. (This could be attributed to Burger King prep. I just don't know.) It tasted a bit more like beef, without the bitter taste I found with Beyond Meat. I did find, like you did, that the condiments attempted to disguise the taste of the "meat." (The onions, especially on the Beyond Meat burger, seemed there to cover for the bitter taste. They didn't.) I concluded in my unofficial Facebook review that the only people who think these items taste good have been vegetarian for a long time or have never been to an In-N-Out. Now that I find out from your video that they cost more that twice what real beef costs. (I had noticed that my Whopper cost $7, but I live in Hawaii and used to this sort of pricing.) If cattle ranchers would feed stock grass instead of corn (which fattens then up but they cannot digest), perhaps there would be less methane-laced cow farts.

  37. So interesting, as I was not a fan of the brats at all, but LOVE the burgers. Was that Italian Sausage you cooked? Have not tried that yet.

    I am a TOTAL meat eater, but buy no factory-farmed meat. I purchase my beef and chicken from a local farmer in the Chicago metro area. My husband and I love pigs so much that we are no longer eating pork, after having bought a half pig last year. We actually MET our pig, which is what made me realize that I could no longer eat them. I mean it's not as if they would be walking the streets if they were not raised for food, but something simply did not feel right, so no more for us.

    So, TOTAL meat eaters excited about incorporating plant-based alternatives into our diet.

  38. Problem is their products are meat alternatives but not any healthier than meat, so there isn’t enough incentive for people to switch. If they can figure out how to reduce the fat and sodium, while retaining the taste and texture of meat, then you have a game changing product.

  39. Love the Impossible Burger . I think plant based meat is a great micro (your health) and macro (the environment ) sustainability decision. Long term I see more people adopting it as they get educated on the benefits . Price will come down with competition and manufacturing process improvements.

  40. Did the Impossible burger challenge (Burger King) a few times with other people. No one thought there was a lot of difference but everyone picked the Impossible burger as better in a blind test. Interesting.

  41. I seen some excepts on the news about Beyond Meat and it was revealed that it wasn’t any better nutritionally than real meat. The newscaster also pointed out why would a naturalist oriented person go for a processed product like Beyond Meat? Real meat is made by Mother-nature so it is a contradicting alternative so to speak. I was really wanting to know how the stacked up nutritionally, With the nutrition and price factor I have know desire to try Beyond Meat.

  42. Here's an interesting & informative article that seems to be unbiased about plant-based meat vs. real meat. Could be good for some & bad for others depending on your personal health is what I took from it. You decide. It's definitely better for the environment, if that helps you decide.
    https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/beyond-meat-health-vegan-burger-plant-based

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