Products & Launches

Canadians Are Dubious About Plant Alternatives. Beyond Brings Beyond Steak to Canada to Prove Them Wrong

Beyond Meat, Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND) recently commissioned a survey in order to understand the attitudes of Canadian consumers towards red meat. The findings indicate that many Canadians are skeptical about plant-based meat and despite a willingness to reduce meat consumption, the overall sentiment is that such products would not offer the same quality of taste.

The results of the Beyond survey were as follows.

  • 67% of participants would consider reducing their red meat consumption
  • A third of those who would like to reduce red meat feel that plant-based meat products do not taste good
  • 49% would rather give up social media for a month than forego red meat
  • Two-thirds of respondents believed steak to be the hardest meat to replicate in a plant-based alternative
  • 55% noted that lowering cholesterol was the primary motivating factor for wanting to reduce meat intake
  • 32% struggle with convenience and had little awareness of how to best prepare plant alternatives

The results mirror a Sodexo survey from earlier this year, which found a huge proportion (74%) of Canadians are not prepared to give up meat entirely —  significantly higher than the global average of 42%.

Beyond Meat headquarters in El Segundo, California
Beyond Meat headquarters in El Segundo, California ©JHVEPhoto-stock.adobe.com

The Canadian appetite for plant-based meat

According to Statista, the Canadian market for meat alternatives reached US$288.90M in 2024 and is expected to grow annually with a CAGR of 8.55% between 2024-2028. Popular alt meat brands on the Canadian market include Beyond and Impossible Meat, Yves Cuisine, Field Roast, Tofurky, Gardein, and Lightlife.

In the earlier Sodexo study of over 1,500 Canadians, a disparity between aspirations and actual habits was uncovered. While 87% acknowledged the urgency of adopting sustainable behaviors such as purchasing meat-free products, most were not ready to give up animal products. As well as entrenched eating habits being a major challenge, real-world barriers such as financial challenges were obstructing the uptake of new eating habits.

As per the Beyond results, the average Canadian consumer is interested in the concept of plant meat, and would theoretically like to reduce their meat intake, especially for reasons of health, but do not believe their alternatives to be appealing.

Furthermore, a study conducted by Ernst & Young last September, funded by Protein Industries Canada, predicted growth in the Canadian market, but highlighted major barriers such as increased price sensitivity, and perception of “products lacking texture and taste parity” for 58% of consumers.

plant-based Beyond Steak
© Beyond Meat

Enter Beyond Steak

With its present entry onto the Canadian market with Beyond Steak, Beyond Meat hopes to change these perceptions and cater to the needs of Canadian consumers.

“We know that when it comes to food it’s all about taste, and our survey findings revealed 61% of Canadian respondents agree taste would be the number one thing they miss when it comes to reducing red meat consumption,” said Heena Verma, Senior Marketing Director, Beyond Meat.

“Enter Beyond Steak! Recognized amongst TIME’s Best Inventions in 2022, it delivers juicy and tender bites of plant-based seared steak tips designed to deliver the same delicious taste and texture as traditional steak.”

TIME wrote at the time that Beyond Steak has the “fibrous texture” of animal steak, “offering a touch of fattiness” while still being “definitely healthier”, and the product has picked up numerous further awards including the 2023 Fabi Award and the Gold Innovation Award at Casual Dining 2023 in the UK, as well as becoming the first plant-based meat and first steak to be certified by the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check Program.

Beyond Steak is now available in the frozen meat counter at most Canadians retailers.

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