It seems that consumers may have lost their appetite for the plant-based meat substitute company Beyond Meat. Its recent trial with McDonald's has McFlopped, and future stock projections may leave investors feeling queasy.
Beyond Meat, which went public in 2019, has had yet another high-profile partnership yield disappointing results. The company signed a three-year global distribution agreement with fast-food giant McDonald's back in 2021. McDonald's then quickly added the "McPlant burger," with a Beyond Meat vegan patty as its base ingredient, to its menu.
But customers didn't bite, and many now project that most McDonald's restaurants will soon stop offering it. According to JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst Ken Goldman, who spoke with employees at 25 different McDonald's locations, most stores cite poor sales as the reason for discontinuing the McPlant.
"Not surprisingly, the reason sometimes being cited is that the product did not sell well enough," Goldman wrote. He also stated that the McPlant burger was all but "McDone" in the United States.
And McDonald's isn't the only global fast-food chain to have soured on Beyond Meat. The Washington Times reports that its trials with Panda Express, Dunkin', Hardee's, A&W, and Yum! Brands — which owns KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut — all basically failed. Each of those enterprises either discontinued its Beyond Meat menu items or opted against a second launch.
Investors are similarly bearish about Beyond Meat's financial prospects. Beyond Meat (BYND) stock prices have tumbled 50 percent so far this year, and they fell about 50 percent in 2021 as well. The Trefis Team at Forbes has predicted that stock prices will fall again after Beyond Meat issues its second-quarter report sometime on Thursday.
"We expect BYND’s stock to trade lower due to revenues and earnings missing expectations in its second-quarter results," Trefis wrote. "Down almost 50% this year from $65 to $33, BYND’s stock price fall is one of the reasons why many investors are betting against this company."
"To add to this, a lack of profit guidance has some investors concerned that there could be more suffering in store for the bottom line in the upcoming Q2," Trefis added.
Trefis did also note that the company does have cash on hand, so "it can still afford a couple of more quarters like this one" since some of the current challenges "might be short-lived."
But Beyond Meat has taken pro-active measures and trimmed some of the fat from its staffing overhead, cutting 40 jobs on Wednesday. It is not known whether further job cuts are expected this year.