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Beyond Meat’s success may mean more fake food is on the way

Beyond Meat’s success may mean more fake food is on the way


I’ll have the pea milk, waiter

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Meatless Burger Company Beyond Meat Goes Public On Nasdaq Exchange
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Beyond Meat’s sales tripled this quarter in its very first earnings report as a public company, the company said today. The company also said it expects to break even this year. Its shares have taken off substantially since IPO even before the surprisingly good earnings report, and may be good news for Silicon Valley investors who are backing other fake food companies.

Arguably there’s an appetite for them

Beyond Meat makes, well, fake meat: the Beyond Burger. So too does Impossible Foods, its major rival (they make the Impossible Burger). Arguably there’s an appetite for them both: just two days ago, The Wall Street Journal reported that purveyors of meat-free burgers are struggling to meet demand from fast food chains. Those chains are turning to veggie burgers to bring in younger customers, who the Journal describes as prioritizing “sustainability and healthfulness.”

Whether or not the products click with customers, they are currently making their investors very happy. Beyond Meat’s offering price was $25, and its opening trades were $46 a share. It closed out today at $99.50, before reporting its earnings. After market, shares spiked as high as $119. Impossible Foods raised $300 million in its latest funding round, Reuters reported in May. Their investors include Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Jay Z, Katy Perry and Serena Williams.

Startups aren’t just dabbling in fake meat. There’s fake booze from companies like Endless West and Replica Wine. Perfect Day Foods and Ripple Foods are making animal-free milk. NuTek Salt is salt with less sodium (and more potassium). Each promises sustainability or health benefits from their process.

It’s still early for Beyond Meat; the company hasn’t even had a full year of being public yet. But if its success continues, it’s likely to buoy other synthetic foods, particularly because many of these synthetic food companies share the same investors, who have an interest in making a bunch of money from their success. Personally, I look forward to my first bite of lab-created nachos.