Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND), the meatless meat company, has posted grim financial reports recently. This has led Wall St. to question whether meatless meat has a bright future. As management has tried to contend with investor discontent, another problem exists. Bloomberg found one of its plants produced meatless meat under circumstances that would make customers’ stomachs turn.
The Bloomberg report was damning. It reported the facility had what appeared to be mold, Listeria, and “food safety” issues. Potential Beyond Meat customers have to pause and ask whether its products could cause serious health problems.
In the most recently reported quarter, Beyond Meat reported revenue dropped 22.5% to $82.5 million. Beyond Meat is supposed to be a growth company at the vanguard of the meatless meat revolution. As it turns out, there may be no revolution at all. Digging through its complex financial report shows that Beyond Meat also lost $101 million. The company also forecasted that future revenue growth would be a high hurdle to clear.
As earnings were released, Beyond Meat President and CEO Ethan Brown said, “As we shared last month, Beyond Meat is executing a full force pivot to a sustainable growth model, emphasizing the achievement of cash flow positive operations within the second half of 2023.” Investors may ask, “A pivot to what?” If the demand for meatless meat has fallen, a pivot does not resolve the issue.
The harsh reality about meatless meat is that people may have found they want real meat. For the most part, it is less expensive. And vegetarians already have huge menus of foods that have not included meatless meat–ever.
A dirty factory may be all that is needed to make Beyond Meat a permanently poor investment. The stock is down 70% this year. That is likely not the bottom.
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