Economy

Beyond Meat stock rebounds, "meatier Beyond Burger" rolls out

Beyond Meat stock rebounds,

Already a popular choice for consumers shopping for meat alternatives, the company's Beyond Burger is getting an upgrade.

It joins other food companies vying for a share of the US alternative meat market which analysts estimate to be worth $100 billion by 2035 as consumers seek to reduce meat consumption amid growing concerns over health risks and environmental hazards of industrial animal farming.

Among big restaurant chains, Burger King has been testing since April a vegetarian version of its flagship Whopper.

Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger in PDF. McDonald's has unveiled a meatless burger in Germany and KFC is studying non-meat options for its menu.

The best-known new ventures, Impossible Food and Beyond Meat, have had difficulty at times meeting surging demand for their products, even as Wall Street has bet on their potential. Now, it sounds like Beyond is going, well, beyond to strengthen the case that its plant-based "meat" can't be beat.

But JPMorgan's Goldman, who just raised his forecast for the stock to $120 a share last Friday, noted in his report Tuesday that Beyond Meat had surged "beyond our price target".

Sales of alternative meat jumped 23 per cent a year ago in the USA, according to The Food Institute.

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Yet that accounts for just 1 per cent of the total market for meat, much lower than the 13 per cent of milk represented by non-dairy sources such as soya, almond and coconut.

Tyson will sell blended protein burgers made from beef and pea protein, and sausages and meatballs that combine chicken with plants including chickpeas, black beans and quinoa, the company said in a statement.

Nestle, the world's biggest packaged foods group, is aiming to sell a pea-based veggie patty called Awesome Burger under its US plant-based Sweet Earth brand in the fall.

In the fall, Nestle plans to offer a pea-based "Sweet Earth" veggie burger in the United States.

The vegetarian meat company, which has blown up in the last few months, has been pushing toward offering a plant-friendly option that mimic meat so closely, people won't know it's not beef.

Beyond Meat may be beyond its own valuation. He said the risk-versus-reward scenario for investors is now balanced.

"This downgrade is purely a valuation call", Goldman said. The conventional companies also have sophisticated supply chains and ready access to capital.