Marketing & Media

Europe Continues as Beyond Meat’s Strongest Market With Multiple Veganuary Activations

Beyond Meat’s vision is to be a global protein company helping the transition from animal to plant-based meat to address the climate crisis and animal welfare positively.

On various occasions, the company has expressed strong ambitions for Europe, aiming to have a localized production to serve the growing demand for meat alternatives in the region. In 2021, the brand created a new position, General Manager of Europe, to expedite its growth in the continent. Since then, the company has expanded its presence in the UK and European countries, including Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Slovenia, Belgium, Italy, and more recently Romania, launching different products through retail and foodservice.

In November it was reported widely that customer demand in Europe is a bright spot for the company amid plummeting sales in the US, with Yahoo Finance stating, “Beyond Meat’s international retail sales rose 39% while international food service sales jumped 79%, largely due to European demand for its plant-based burgers and nuggets at McDonald’s. McDonald’s doesn’t sell those products in the U.S.,” and Food Navigator reporting the Beyond Burger was ramping up its presence in Europe with the company recording strong growth abroad leading to management focusing its efforts on Europe “which it perceives as being a faster-growing market compared to the US.”

Mcdonald's Mcplant
© Mcdonald’s

Veganuary campaign in the UK

This week, Beyond Meat has launched a new marketing campaign in the UK called ‘Taste You Can Believe In’ to promote its products while highlighting their eco-friendly benefits coinciding with Veganuary

Through humor and informative messaging, the ad playfully challenges misconceptions about vegan food and questions the tastiness of other plant-based products. As part of the initiative, a Beyond Meat food truck will tour the country led by the plant-based TikTok comedy star Luke Vernon, offering free Beyond Burgers.

In addition to the campaign, Beyond Meat has introduced several new dishes in food service establishments, including Wetherspoon (Beyond BBQ Meal), Honest Burger (Beyond Burger), and Pizza Hut (Beyond Pepperoni range). In addition, Beyond Meat products will have special deals in supermarkets throughout Veganuary.

Luke Vernon said: “I can’t wait to get on tour and offer free, insanely meaty, plant-based Beyond Burgers so people can experience for themselves that Beyond Meat truly is ‘Taste you can believe in. So juicy and crispy – their burgers are truly un-burger-lievable!” 

Beyond Meat Pizza Hut pizza
© Beyond Meat

Plant-based meat in Europe

Despite a downturn in US retail and foodservice revenues for the third quarter of 2023, Beyond Meat continues to perform in the UK and European markets, with many products that are unavailable in the US. Sales of the McPlant, Beyond Steak, Beyond Chicken, and Beyond Pepperoni prompt the company to expand further on this side of the Atlantic.

A recent research by Circana shows a 48% increase in out-of-home plant-based meat sales in Germany, France, the UK, Italy, and Spain since 2019. Among the products, plant-based burgers have seen an exceptional rise, with a 20% year-on-year increase and an overall 90% growth since 2019.  

This demand is believed to be fuelled by flexitarianism. A 2023 pan-European survey shows that 51% of meat eaters in Europe are actively reducing meat consumption. The trend is very pronounced in the UK, where 48% of the population is cutting down on meat, and a fifth claims to purchase plant-based meat at least once a week.

Meanwhile, the Good Food Institute think tank reported a 24% increase in European alt protein investments in 2022, while the global financing for the sector experienced a decrease.

Ethan Brown Beyond Meat
Ethan Brown © Beyond Meat

Despite the challenges the company has faced over the last few years in the US and its future at stake, Brown is still fully dedicated to its mission: providing a delicious, affordable, and sustainable alternative to animal protein.

“The environmental impact of our business is not a secondary consideration but is rather a reason for being….It is understandable to feel overwhelmed in face of the magnitude of this global challenge. However, defeat is not inevitable and there is much we can do today,” shared Brown in a press release.

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