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Beyond Meat stock dips as U.S. plant-based meat sales cool slightly in 2021

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Yahoo Finance Live discusses U.S. plant-based meat sales declining as low as 0.6% in 2021.

Video transcript

- Welcome back to Yahoo Finance. It's time for Brian Sozzi's take. And the sizzling take today involves fake meat, which by the way I like to call the OG meme stocks of the before times. At least that's what it felt like in 2019, but the FT is saying sales of plant based meat alternatives in September actually fell by 1.8% compared to the year before. Brian, I don't know if you're part of that statistic? Have you not dived into an impossible meat whopper in the last few months?

BRIAN SOZZI: No, I'm still eating this stuff, especially those Beyond Meat meatballs. But there are a couple of things going here as you can see by that chart. Plant based meat sales have been weak generally throughout this year, and now here are a couple things going on in this industry. You see a lot of pricing competition, you walk into the aisles of target you see I would say more attainable price points from Beyond Meat. You see a lot new competitors in the marketplace bringing down those high price points that essentially fueled these stocks last year.

Number two, growing pains. You look at Beyond Meat here they've had a couple of challenging quarters as they expand their own operations in the US overseas. They're building a new headquarters.

So a lot of growing pains for these companies, but also again a lot more competition in this space. Kellogg is now selling plant based materials, plant based food. Conagra is also selling plant based foods. A lot more competition in here.

Next, the fast food recovery I was showing Dunkin' right there. The fast food recovery remains under pressure. The expansion of plant based foods in fast food that was the whole story from 2019 to 2020.

That has cooled down now as fast food companies really focus on I would say slimmer menus during the pandemic here. Not to say that fast plant based food is-- is no longer making inroads into fast food they are. Just not at the same pace they were last year.

And then guys something-- a trend that I'm starting to emerge here I'm calling it health fatigue or healthy lifestyle fatigue. You know we talked to Mindy Grossman WW CEO a couple of weeks ago. She-- consumers have tuned out a little bit for whatever reason to signing up, and taking better care of themselves at least for on the WW platform.

We had Beyond Meat notice-- mentioned in its most recent earnings call that traffic to some parts of its stores where it sells has been weak here. And Peloton of course, a couple of weeks ago noting workouts have continued to trend down as pandemic rages on. I-- I like to lead a healthy lifestyle, but maybe I'm not the best example out there.

- Well, two things. First of all, there were always questions about whether plant based meats was even healthier for you than actual meat. And I think the most vegetarians, and vegans I know are not necessarily reaching for veggie burgers. They're just reaching for other stuff entirely that tastes more like plants. Many of them are not looking to duplicate the taste of meat in a plant based burger, right?

And so I was always sort of skeptical of the appeal at a fast food place of getting a Beyond Burger or an Impossible Burger, right? Are the clients who go there are going to want that or do they come there for a burger. And so I don't know. I don't think it's a huge shocker that we're seeing. I mean, maybe what--

Just eat falafel.

- --you're saying is true also about the bigger-- the bigger health trend. But I think there's some stuff specific to plant based meat as well.

- I was going to say--

- What were you going to say?

- --just eat falafel. I eat falafel. It's so tasty. It's so good. Great alternative.

BRIAN SOZZI: Well, at some point you have to wonder too know is-- is Beyond Meat just a part of a PepsiCo or a larger food player looking to make a push in a plant based meats-- plant based meats. I know plant based food it's not a fad. It's not going anywhere. I would it up there right there with electric cars as a dominant trend to watch over the next decade. But again, you know, things have slowed down here. A lot of growing pains happening right now in the sector, and you're seeing Beyond Meat shares for example down 40% year today.

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