Red-Blooded Americans Reject Fake Meat
The pitch for plant-based meat is nice and tidy-Americans love meat, but the process from steer to steak is ugly and harmful. Plant-based substitutes promise a healthier, guilt-free, more sustainable alternative.
Back when you could raise billions off of a good idea alone, fake meat companies were booming. But times are a-changin'.
- Beyond Meat ($BYND) has had a wild ride since its 2019 IPO-it initially spiked to nearly $15 billion in market cap but is now worth a mere 9 figures
- One of its main competitors, Impossible Foods, is still private and has bragged about its recent success, but it recently sent 6% of its workforce packing
The biggest issues facing the market are:
1. The product doesn't taste enough like meat
2. Its health benefits are questionable at best
Until the blind taste test can fool most people, the market will struggle to get off the ground. The tradeoffs just aren't worth it for most people.
A more intriguing pathway might be growing meat cells inside a lab, which are literally the same as real meat down to the cellular level.
If lab-grown production can scale effectively, it could be a win-win all around-less animal abuse, a more sustainable supply chain, and plenty of medium-rare steaks to go around.
Whether brands like Beyond Meat were just too early to the party is still an open question, but they have to turn things around fast to avoid deeper pain.