Is the Plant-Based Market Showing Signs of Decline?

Despite interest in the plant-based space by investors, the category appeared to lose a bit of luster in the second quarter, as both Beyond Meat and Maple Leaf Foods noted sales of their plant-based offerings fell below expectations.

Beyond Meat Misses the Mark

Beyond Meat Inc. saw shares tumble as much as 8.8% before leveling off to 3.4% after regular trading this week. The company sees revenue in a range of $120 million to $140 million — below the $153 million estimate compiled by Bloomberg, (Aug 5).

Through Thursday’s close, Beyond Meat fell 2.5% in 2021.

“I’m optimistic about what lies ahead,” CEO Ethan Brown told Bloomberg. “That said, given the recent uptick of COVID-19 cases, which could disrupt demand patterns, we believe caution for the balance of the year generally remains appropriate.”

Maple Leaf Plant-Based Also Sluggish

While animal protein drove Canada’s Maple Leaf in the second quarter, its plant-based products faltered. While total company sales were up 5.9%, the Canadian company’s $8.8 million (Canadian) in earnings were down nearly 66 percent from a year earlier, and its plant protein group sales, excluding foreign exchange impacts, declined 10.4%, reported Yahoo Finance. (Aug 5)

“As we anticipated, our second quarter faced material market headwinds and a difficult year-over-year comparable quarter due to COVID-19 effects,” said Maple Leaf Foods CEO Michael McCain, as reported by Pique Newsmagazine. (Aug. 5).

Category Interest Remains Strong, However

Although it’s likely too early to tell, plant-based red meat replacements may be hitting a saturation point with increasing number of market players, but much can still be done for plant-based dairy, chicken, and seafood.

With rising interest in healthier eating habits and sustainably, plant-based fish is gaining significant traction. In its latest analysis, Future Market Insights (FMI) forecasts that the global plant-based fish market will grow by a 28% CAGR between 2021 and 2031.

And plant-based dairy innovations are also retaining a sizable portion of the market. Swedish oat milk company Oatly has seen shares increase 15% since they began trading in June, reported Forbes (Jul 21).