Welcome to the latest episode of the Full-Court Finance podcast from Zacks Investment Research where Associate Stock Strategist Ben Rains breaks down Beyond Meat, Inc. (NASDAQ:BYND) and its recent IPO that has seen it destroy Uber (NYSE:UBER) and Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) . The plant-based meat maker hopes its athlete brand ambassadors, which includes NBA and NFL stars, can help it market its offerings on a mass scale to grow before some giants enter the playing field.
Beyond Meat is certainly not a traditional sports-focused company and doesn’t fall into the retail area that we normally focus on in this show. But we have already talked about cooler giant Yeti (NYSE:YETI) , Canada Goose GOOSE, Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) , and Gatorade (NASDAQ:PEP) competitor BodyArmour, which Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) took a stake in last summer. Plus, Beyond Meat has enlisted the help of well-known athletes in the U.S. to market the company’s plant-based meat offerings to a wide market. And in doing so, Beyond Meat hopes to show people that its burger patties, sausage, and beef crumbles, compare favorably to their animal meat counterparts.
Houston Rockets star Chris Paul is a central figure in the firm’s ad campaigns and carries a whole ad by himself. Meanwhile, the likes of Deandre Hopkins, Kyrie Irving, Deandre Jordan, Victor Oladipo, and many other athletes are part of the firm’s ambassador team.
Overall, BYND stock is up over 100% since the company went public in early May. Beyond Meat is now one of the hottest IPOs in years and has stood out compared to Lyft, Uber, and Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) . The firm’s offerings are made of four main ingredients and hope to mimic the taste, consistency, and cooking profile of animal meat.
Beyond Meat can now be found in grocery stores such as Safeway, Publix, Kroger (NYSE:KR) , and many more, along with restaurants such as Carl’s Jr. and Del Taco. Despite its expansion, the company lost money in 2018 on less than $100 million in sales. There are also now worries that the stock has surged too high too fast. Plus, the firm faces competition from rivals such as Impossible Foods—which could go public soon—as well as traditional meat industry giants like Hormel Foods Corp (NYSE:HRL) , Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) , Cargill, and others who might roll out their own plant-based meat offerings based on reports.
Beyond Meat hopes to go after people who eat meat, as vegetarians are still a small market. In the long-run, Beyond Meat will likely be able to grow if enough people buy into the firm’s core vision: “By shifting from animal, to plant-based meat, we are creating one savory solution that solves four growing issues attributed to livestock production: human health, climate change, constraints on natural resources and animal welfare.”
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