Last week, vegans got fantastic news: If they wanted to eat fake meat at a fake Chinese restaurant, Panda Express had them covered.
Fox Business reported that the chain was “bringing back a plant-based option with Beyond Meat’s trademarked Beyond The Original Orange Chicken.
“The sauce-covered entrée is now available nationwide for a limited time while supplies last, according to a press release the chain restaurant issued on Wednesday, Sept. 7.”
That was good news for fake-meat producer — but if you’re a vegan, you needn’t run out the door to get your serving of orange not-chicken. Judging by the rest of the headlines Beyond Meat has been generating, supplies will last.
According to the U.K.’s Daily Mail, Beyond Meat is in trouble. Last month, the company announced slow sales and busted partnerships — and its stock has been tumbling.
In spite of “curiosity from some people looking for a meat alternative amid the Covid pandemic’s meat packing plant shutdowns,” red flags are abounding for Beyond Meat as the plant-based food manufacturer continues to lose money.
Partnerships with McDonald’s and Taco Bell haven’t worked out for the company and, in its most recent quarterly report, Beyond Meat posted a $100 million net revenue loss.
Between August of 2021 and August of 2022, the company’s stock was down 74 percent.
Now, a vegan food manufacturer facing serious issues isn’t necessarily news. However, Beyond Meat was supposed to be the Next Big Thing™ — a startup that would transform plant-based faux meat forever.
“Beyond Meat seemed poised to dominate the faux-meat market after announcing in early 2021 a three-year partnership with McDonald’s, as well as agreements with major fast food players like KFC, Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway, among others,” the Daily Mail noted.
“But none of the test runs have resulted in long-term success, with many of Beyond Meat’s partners either not expanding their plant-based options to more restaurants or eliminating the menu items entirely. Sales of McDonald’s McPlant product were reportedly disappointing in many locations and some restaurants have stopped serving it entirely”
And the lack of demand isn’t the only problem. Not only is Beyond Meat not selling a lot of not-meat, it’s spending a lot of money to not sell that not-meat.
“Beyond Meat must dramatically cut costs and lower its cash burn, or it will go bankrupt,” said New Constructs CEO David Trainer, an industry analyst. “Companies with heavy cash burn and little cash on hand are risky in any market, but especially now.”
“With just $548 million in cash and cash equivalents on the balance sheet at the end of 1Q22, Beyond Meat’s cash balance could only sustain its cash burn for just 10 months after 1Q22,” he added. “Raising additional capital to fund further cash burn would likely come at a high cost and be bad news for existing and new shareholders.”
Things haven’t gotten better in the interim.
On Wednesday, the company’s stock hit an all-time low. According to MarketWatch, shares ended up “dipping as much as 6.4% before briefly rebounding, as the maker of plant-based meat continues to navigate choppy waters.”
Shares have been down 69 percent so far in 2022.The S&P 600 index, meanwhile, is down 17 percent by comparison.
But remember: We’re all supposed to transfer to a fake-meat diet to save the environment. You can barely taste the difference, right? And vegan meat substitute the responsible thing to do for the environment, we’re told.
Don’t you want to be responsible?
Apparently not. Beyond Meat is burning through cash and has nothing to show for it despite high-profile partnerships with McDonald’s and Taco Bell. No matter how much this dreck gets pushed upon the American public, the American public isn’t buying it.
And there’s a good reason: It’s disgusting. There’s no amount of orange sauce that can disguise that fact. But, hey, if you want the Beyond The Original Orange Chicken, go for it.
Rest assured, supplies will last.
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