When the topic of plant-based protein arises, most will immediately conjure mental images of Beyond Meat and Impossible’s red, meat-like burgers and sausages. This should be of no surprise to anybody; massive media coverage driven by mainstream restaurant adoption as well as the 6-month boom-and-bust […]
The plant-based revolution is in full swing, and it’s expanding beyond the meat aisle at the supermarket (pun intended) and into indulgent products, namely ice-cream and frozen desserts. Millennial and Gen-Z consumers have gravitated to dairy-free and vegan alternatives to conventional treats for a levy […]
Plant-based meat has recently taken center-stage in America’s food industry, spearheaded by a few key brands, including Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, Good Planet Foods, and most recently, Nestlé.
The Impossible Story
The plant-based meat media frenzy began on April 1’st, when Burger King announced it would be testing Whoppers made with Impossible Foods’
patties in select locations in St. Louis. Despite the release date that might have had many second-guessing the validity of the announcement, the sales numbers were no April fools joke, as by the end of the month, Burger King announced it’s now planning a full nationwide roll-out of the Impossible Whopper.
Although Burger King’s announcement garnered the bigger headlines, Qdoba actually ran its own successful test with Impossible in February, and as of May 28, has its plant-based products available in 730 stores nationwide.
Beyond Meat: IPO & More
In between the prime-time ride-sharing IPO’s of Lyft and Uber, Beyond Meat made headlines when it went public on the Nasdaq on May 2. With a predicted price per share of $23-$25 a share, BYND absolutely crushed expectations by closing 163% above at $65.75, becoming the best-performing IPO in 2 decades. Since then, it rose another 40 dollars to a high of over $104/share, before taking a 8% hit on June 3 due to Nestlé’s decision to join the industry. As of market close on June 3, the Beyond’s market cap sits at $5.75 Billion
Beyond Meat has also made steady progress in entering national food chains, albeit none so far with the name-recognition of Burger King. Notable names include Del-Taco, Carl’s Jr., A&W & TGI Friday’s.
Through its Sweet Earth brand, the world’s largest CPG company has thrown its hat into the plant-based food boxing ring. It plans on releasing its ‘Awesome Burger’ this fall, and coupled with Nestlé’s massive distribution network, it should provide a strong competitor to Beyond and Impossible. Sweet Earth is also offering an organic version of their Awesome Burger, for the discerning customer.
According to Nielsen, functional beverages and waters have spearheaded growth within the beverage industry in recent years. Sparkling beverages are also on the rise, as 3 of the fastest growing beverage segments are carbonated. As consumers shift away from sugary drinks that contribute to obesity, […]
California Assembly Bill 138, containing a 2 cent/fluid ounce tax on ‘sugar-sweetened drinks’ was put on hold until next year, a victory for beverage producers. The bill was proposed in attempt to abate sugar consumption and tackle the obesity epidemic. Proposed Tax Would Significantly Increase […]
CBD Hype In Full Swing at Expo West 2019
During our team’s visit to Expo West 2019 in Anaheim last week, it was difficult not to notice a key sub-vertical that was ubiquitous throughout the event: CBD and hemp products. We weren’t the only ones, with BevNet publishing an article and video noting how even successful, mainstream brands like Vita-coco are adding CBD into Coconut Water. With the trend picking up speed, some brands see it as an opportunity to venture into the space, either as a supplemental feature or as a focal ingredient.
Natural Product Insider released a brief podcast cautioning that the industry is still in its early stages, and that comprehensive research/government regulation is lacking. Additionally, it warns that supply and safety issues might arise in the upcoming years before regulators and the market feel out a method to the madness, and best practices are agreed upon.
Food Brands Shift Away from Conventional Retail
Food brands are broadening their retail focus from conventional supermarket retailers to gyms, offices, and even experimenting with pop-up stores. According to CB Insights’ new 2019 Food/Bev Trends publication, brands are increasingly keen to find ways of diversifying their POS options away from the struggling brick-and-mortar retail sector; an industry being significantly disrupted by the convenience of Amazons’ and Jets’ of E-commerce.
As delivery becomes increasingly convenient, fast, and affordable, consumers have less incentive to trek to brick-and-mortar retailers for foods and household items; why walk when you can order with a tap? Food brands have accordingly begun placing their products the only place more convenient than a courier away: wherever you happen to be. A couple of examples include Emirates supplying fresh produce on its flights, and Cargo’s continued expansion in selling snacks and other goods in ride-sharing cars.
Personalized Nutrition Is Gaining Steam
As per a CB Insights report, an international levy of startups are on a mission to personalize various areas of healthy living, from helping to regulate a diet, to customizing foodstuffs/supplements, to analyzing a personal biological profile.
A couple notable examples:
- STYR Labs is developing an engine that allows users to customize vitamins, juices and more based on bio-metrics, habits and lifestyle choices
- Multiply Labs 3D-prints supplements from a quiz customers can fill out. Their pills are designed with multiple sections per pill, designed to release nutrients and minerals at different times, depending on your personalized health needs.
Last week, CB Insights published a report titled “The Rise of the Wellness Economy: Startups, corporates, and technologies poised to have the greatest impact on the wellness economy in 2018 and beyond.” This report is one of the most informative things we’ve seen on the […]
This past week, we had the opportunity to attend Natural Products Expo East (“Expo East” for short). Expo East is produced by New Hope Network and takes place at the Baltimore Convention Center. The event gives brands of all sizes the chance to launch innovative […]
Last week, our team attended the Fancy Foods Show at the Javits Center in NYC. It was a busy three days of meeting brands, listening to speakers, and identifying trends in the food space. With over 2,600 exhibitors and over 200,000 products, there was plenty to see and plenty to eat. After the conference, our industry experts reflected on a few of the trends they’re noticing.
- Sweet Disposition — as consumers are moving away from sugar and artificial ingredients, brands have to adapt to find creative ways to sweeten products. Expect products sweetened with Honey, Xylitol, Stevia, and Erythritol to do well in the near future.
- Chocoholics — similar to the last point, consumers are becoming more aware of the side-effects of high sugar intake. With that in mind, expect dark chocolate to grow quicker than sweeter forms of chocolate and candy over the next five years. The proven health benefits of dark chocolate don’t hurt either! (link)
- Balanced Nutrition Bars — The “health bar” market is moving away from a focus on protein and towards a more balanced macronutrient profile. Companies like Primal Kitchen and RxBar are leading the way with simple, whole-food ingredients that taste great. Consumers are no longer just looking at nutrition facts, they are reading ingredient lists too.
- Beverages, Beverages, Beverages — everywhere you look there are various beverage companies offering creative new products. Obviously, Cold Brew coffee is huge right now but there’s a new wave of Cold Brew Tea, Spiked Kombucha, Cashew milk, and MCT-infused drinks on their way to market.
- Consumers are knowledgeable — I’ve touched on this a few times in the points above but it’s so important that I’m going to mention it again. As more science comes out about the connection between nutrition and chronic disease in the United States, consumers are becoming more aware of what they are putting in their bodies. Remember, consumers are not afraid to “vote with their dollar” by paying slightly extra for products created with simple, yet healthy, ingredients.
On June 26th, Kroger announced they will be standardizing payment terms to net 90 days which take effect on August 1, 2018. Kroger is doing this to smooth out its working capital and, ultimately, its cash position. Organizations that represent produce suppliers, such as National […]