Beyond Meat to Become First Vegan Meat Producer to Launch IPO

California-based Beyond Meat is planning to go public according to documents filed last Friday by the company. Beyond Meat will be listed on the Nasdaq as “BYND,” with an initial offering of $100 million, a number analysts say will likely change.

The move was suspected last month after an anonymous source revealed the vegan meat producer was in contact with several banks. CNBC reported that Beyond Meat had reached out to J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse, and Goldman Sachs to lead an IPO. While many vegan brands have attracted venture capital funding, this would make Beyond Meat the first publicly traded vegan meat company.

According to CNBC, “The nearly $30 billion processed meat industry last year grew by 2 percent, while the the $1.4 billion meat alternatives industry grew by 22 percent, according to data service Euromonitor.” Aware of this trend, meat companies have been heavily investing in plant-based alternatives. Besides high-profile individuals like Bill Gates and Leonardo DiCaprio, Beyond’s investors have included Tyson Foods, one of America’s largest meat producers. Tyson initially took a five percent stake in Beyond, but came back to increase its investment soon after.

Earlier this year, Beyond Meat received the United Nations’ “Champion of the Earth” recognition for creating a sustainable alternative to beef. The UN award came amid increasing calls from scientists for the public to reduce meat consumption in order to stem climate change.

Beyond Meat is most famous for its Beyond Burger, which mimics the taste and texture of a beef burger, and even “bleeds.” The Beyond company website says that “by shifting from animal, to plant-based meat, we can positively and significantly impact 4 growing issues attributed to livestock production and consumption: human health, climate change, natural resource depletion, and animal welfare.”

Beyond Meat has rapidly grown since its launch in 2016, selling over 25 million Beyond Burgers along the way. The company recently expanded to South Asia, and in August, the Grand Hyatt in Singapore added the Beyond Burger to its menu, and sold 1,000 burgers on the first day.

Other plant-based meat companies have also seen rapid growth amid growing demands for animal alternatives. California-based Impossible Foods recently doubled production to meet demand, opening a 68,000 square foot facility in Oakland. And several smaller vegan meat companies have been picked up by major retailers and distributors. No Evil Foods, a North Carolina-based start up just expanded its distribution to 250 Walmart stores in the southern United States.

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