Mixed News for Plant-Based Meat

Impossible Burger Enters Retail as Tim Hortons Limits Beyond Meat

Jerry Hagstrom
By  Jerry Hagstrom , DTN Political Correspondent
The plant-based meat market is now worth more than $800 million, with sales up 10% since 2018, according to data from a study the Good Food Institute and the Plant Based Foods Association commissioned. (Photo courtesy of Impossible Foods.com)

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- In mixed news for the plant-based food industry, the Impossible Burger will be sold in grocery stores, just as Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee and doughnut chain, announced it is pulling the Beyond Meat burger from its outlets in all provinces except Ontario and British Columbia.

The Impossible Burger debuted in all 27 outlets of Gelson's Markets in Southern California last week, Food Business News reported. The retail roll-out marks the first time that consumers will be able to buy the product, Food Business News said.

Le Journal de Montreal was the first publication to report that Tim Hortons would limit its Beyond Meat breakfast sausage and hamburger offerings.

Fortune said that Beyond Meat stock dropped about 3.8% on Sept. 18, sliding by about 7% at one point, but regained some of those losses Thursday. The stock is up 241% since May when it opened at $46 a share, Fortune said.

The reasons Tim Hortons decided to limit its Beyond Meat offerings are unclear. The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association objected to a commercial from restaurant A&W, which has the same parent company as Tim Hortons, showing football fans eating Beyond Meat patties. But some experts questioned whether Tim Hortons made a mistake promoting a single product rather than a product line, Fortune said.

Meanwhile, the Good Food Institute said that a study it and the Plant Based Foods Association commissioned from SPINS showed increased demand for plant-based meat substitutes.

GFI said the data showed:

-- Refrigerated plant-based burger sales in U.S. retail have surged 151% since 2018.

-- Refrigerated plant-based burgers are a key growth driver within the plant-based meat market, with sales increasing more than five times as fast as other plant-based meat products.

-- With refrigerated plant-based burgers driving sales growth, the plant-based meat market is now worth more than $800 million, with sales up 10% since 2018 and growing more than five times as fast as conventional meat sales, which have grown just 2% since 2018.

"Impossible Foods' retail debut will prompt a rapid acceleration in plant-based meat market growth. Impossible's entry into retail will help expand and strengthen the plant-based meat market, giving consumers more choice and stimulating demand across the entire sector," said GFI Executive Director Bruce Friedrich said.

"Products like the Impossible Burger have supercharged plant-based meat market growth by enticing more and more omnivores to embrace these products. By appealing to America's meat-loving masses, Impossible Foods has helped propel plant-based meat into the mainstream, opening up and capturing entirely new consumers.

"Increased availability is what will allow the plant-based meat sector to really break through. Adding exciting new products like the Impossible Burger to the meat case will accelerate this process. Impossible Foods' entry into retail will create a much bigger plant-based market. Where plant-based meat is concerned, a rising tide will lift all boats."

(ES/)

Jerry Hagstrom