UNITED STATES, September 24, 2022 (The Guardian): At the start of the year, McDonald’s launched a plant-based burger “sizzled on a flat-iron grill, then topped with slivered onions, tangy pickles, crisp shredded lettuce, Roma tomato slices, ketchup, mustard, mayo and a slice of melty American cheese”. For a while, it looked like a glimpse of the future. The US test run of the McPlant burger was quietly shelved last month (it is still available in some markets, including the UK) in one of a series of setbacks for a meatless-meat industry that only a year ago was claiming it could change the great American menu forever. Getting meat eaters in the US to adopt plant-based alternatives has proven a challenge. Beyond Meat, which produces a variety of plant-based products, including imitations of ground beef, burgers, sausages, meatballs and jerky, has had a rough 12 months, with its stock dipping nearly 70%. [BYND, today at $15.03, 52 week high $109.52]

Multiple chains that partnered with the company, including McDonald’s, have quietly ended trial launches. In August, the company laid off 4% of its workforce after a slowdown in sales growth. It’s a dramatic reversal of fortune. Just two years ago, Beyond Meat, its competitor Impossible Foods [not publicly traded] and the plant-based meat industry at large seemed poised to start a food revolution. For a time, Wall Street went vegetarian. In 2019 Beyond Meat was valued at over $10 billion, more than Macy’s or Xerox. The most bullish investors believed that plant-based meat would make up 15% of all meat sales by 2030. But the reality of Americans’ interest in plant-based meat has proven more complicated than investors thought, and the adoption of meat alternatives has been slower than what was once hoped. Today Beyond Meat is valued at just over $900 million. The number of Americans who are vegetarian or vegan has remained relatively stable over the last 20 years. About 5% of Americans in 2018 said they are vegetarian, while 3% are vegan, according to a Gallup poll.

Much more at source.