Plant-based meat is a relatively new thing, but it’s taking off fast. It’s not all that surprising. With population growth and rapidly advancing technology, there’s an expectation that alternative food will become more and more popular.
The main reasons for its appeal have to do with the impact of real meat on the environment. Producing massive amounts of meat that humans consume involves using vast swathes of land. This makes the land’s soil unavailable for raising crops, and also results in deforestation and the destruction of other plant life. There’s also growing concern about the impact meat animals like cattle may have on climate change. In short, plant-based meat is viewed as being better for the planet, and that’s how it’s being marketed.
The two main companies producing these real meat alternatives are Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. They’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth in the last year, and early investors are no doubt very pleased. When Beyond Meat went public in May of 2019, it was selling its stock for $25 a share. Now it’s running at $169, which is fantastic growth for such a short period.
Americans love their burgers, and most of the plant-based meat currently being sold takes the form of meatless beef patties. Numerous restaurants, most notably Burger King and McDonald’s, have made deals with Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods to produce and sell meatless hamburgers. Burger King recently launched the Impossible Whopper. These burgers are produced from plants and engineered to taste like real beef. The consensus seems to be that they got it pretty close.