Demand for Plant-Based Meats Surge Amid Meat Shortages

Demand for Plant-Based Meats Surge Amid Meat Shortages

As supplies of pork, beef, and chicken dwindle, consumers are turning to the alternative option of plant-based meats.

Beyond Meat Inc. and Impossible Foods Inc. are the largest producers of plant-based meat substitutes in the United States. As coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the US meat supply, causing shortages stemming from the closures of major pork and beef packing plants across the country, these companies have seen an enormous surge in demand.

Beyond Meat Inc.

Shares of Beyond Meat have gone up a whopping 85% since March 18. The company had an incredible 141% increase in revenue and profit for the first quarter. It has secured funding to further expand the business.

Impossible Foods Inc.

Impossible Foods Inc. is privately owned, but Chief Financial Officer David Lee says the company is seeing similar growth with no supply chain interruptions.

At Kroger stores, where customers are only allowed to buy 2 packages of meat at a time, Impossible Burger products will fill the coolers starting immediately. Impossible Foods’ meat products are already in several other grocery chains and the company is responding to a sharp increase in demand. It introduced pork products in January.

While approximately 1 in 5 Wendy’s restaurants has temporarily removed beef products from menus, Burger King has said that it will continue what started as a test trial of the Impossible Whopper. The plant-based burger debuted in its restaurants last year.

Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods

Another plant-based meat company, Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods, has seen such an increase in demand for its plant-based frozen-food sector products it is in the process of doubling its 100,000 pounds daily capacity. Praeger’s products are available in Kroger, Whole Foods Market, Costco, and Trader Joe’s stores.  

Reopening Meat Processing Plants

Although President Trump signed an executive order declaring meat processing plants critical infrastructure under the Defense Production Act ordering them to reopen, most are unable to resume production at the same capacity.

Many meat processing plant employees across the country have tested positive for coronavirus and are unable to return to work. Meat shortages are expected to continue for as long as coronavirus remains a concern.