The Financial Times has reported that COVID 19 is reshaping the North American food market, stating that US sales of plant-based meats jumped a massive 200 percent in the week ending April 18th, compared with the same period last year, surging by 265% over an eight week period.
This report confirms the validity of the recent prediction that the global plant-based meat market is projected to benefit from the pandemic. In addition, as we reported at the beginning of April, recent data shows US consumers purchased 279.8% more plant-based meats in March.
According to Bruce Friedrich at the Good Food Institute, as quoted in the FT article, the plant-based meat industry is far less vulnerable in this time of lockdown and factory closures, as it requires less labour and its “supply chain factors are much easier to manipulate.”
Last week Bernstein downgraded stock in Tyson Foods, the largest US meat producer, due to plant closures and staffing issues. Shares in Tyson are down 5 percent on the previous week. In the plant-based world, however, it’s a different picture with shares in Beyond Meat up 40 percent from last week.
The animal meat industry is suffering; the supply is there but the chain to distribution is fragmented, forcing up prices to consumers. At the same time consumers around the world are gradually making the connection between animal agriculture and public health, as well as that of the planet, which is further increasing the interest in meat alternatives.