In a generation of millennials, eating healthier and boosting the overall health of the ecosystem has been a major play in society. There are currently two main players in the plant-based meat market, Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND) and Impossible Foods. The market for meat substitutes is expected to hit USD 2.5 Billion by 2023, according to Euromonitor estimates.
Beyond Meat introduced its first “beef” product made from plant proteins in 2016, becoming the infamous Beyond Burger. That same year, Impossible Foods, released its own alternative to the beef burger made from soy-protein concentrate. The two companies continue to thrive in today’s markets and are even backed by billionaire Bill Gates. In May, Beyond Meat had the best Initial Public Offering (IPO) so far in 2019 with a 163% surge in its debut on the public market.
Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, Inc. John Mackey chimes in on plant-based meats.
‘We launched Beyond Meat. We were their launching pad. In fact, I think all of their new products have been introduced at Whole Foods. But some of these that are extremely popular now that are taking the world by storm, if you look at the ingredients, they are super, highly processed foods…I don’t think eating highly processed foods is healthy. I think people thrive on eating whole foods. As for health, I will not endorse that, and that is about as big of criticism that I will do in public.’ – John Mackey tells CNBC Make It
Despite John Mackey’s statements in regards to eating healthy, Mackey does believe that plant-based meats are a more ethical choice and are better for the environment than regular meat. According to a study commissioned by Beyond Meat with the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan, “a plant-based burger generates 90% less greenhouse gas emissions, requires 45% less energy, has 99% less impact on water scarcity, and 93% less impact on land use than a 1/4 pound of traditional U.S. beef.” Fast Company states that Americans switching from beef to plant-based patties would be equivalent to taking 12 million cars off the road for an entire year.
There is no doubt that plant-based meats are taking the world by storm. They taste very similar to real meat and give non-meat consumers a viable option. Although several products are not yet perfected as dieticians may agree, it’s a good first step in transitioning people away from meat products.