Recent years have witnessed the emergence of many food-related trends, from products that help people cope with kitchen burnout to people flocking towards exotic food and a never-ending battle between meat and plants eaters. But the ones that had the strongest effect are plant-based diets. This green fever did not only alter people’s lifestyles, but it also spread across businesses and major companies, creating a whole new industry based on producing meat and dairy alternatives. Does any of these names sound familiar to you?
You guessed it; these are among the top players in the plant-based food market!
As expected, savvy investors did not miss the chance of making a profit out of a bullish market. In 2020 alone, USD 3.1 billion was cashed into alternative proteins as investment capital that drove plant-based stocks up the charts, which have not budged since. The investing trend continued last year, accompanied by growing environmental concerns and technological advancement. Still, some plant-based meat producers have experienced a halt in sales due to the infamous supply chain crisis. A significant victim was Beyond Meat which lost almost half of its market value to USD 3.9 billion as of last January, which to its misfortune was a period of success for vegan and plant-based stocks.
On the other side of the battlefront stands the fast-food franchise and old enemy of the “save the planet” crowd, KFC. Contrary to Beyond Meat, KFC, owned by YUM, saw a 30% share spike last year. Yet as unlikely as it seems, the two companies found themselves sharing the struggle, with Beyond Meat looking to rebound from its recent losses and KFC seeking to shed itself from being “bad for the environment.”
On January 5, 2022, a joint statement between KFC and Beyond Meat was released. It announced an addition to KFC’s menu that is not fried chicken but a new recipe of a vegan chicken alternative that tastes, looks and smells authentic.
The decision proved to be an actual new year resolution as Beyond Meat’s stock rose by 9.1% in the premarket on January 12, recovering from a sharp fall in the previous session. At the same time, KFC sees this move as the start of making plant-based meat the future of fried chicken.
This move proved that investors’ eyes could shift back to this sector, reigniting the hype that weaned since 2019.
The question is, do you think other fast-food giants could jump on this wave?