Plant-Based Meat Sales Soar as Meat Processing Plants Shut Down

As slaughterhouse closures and a changing market batter the meat industry, plant-based meat products are thriving. In fact, according to global market research company Nielsen, for the week ending on April 18, figures show a 200 percent jump in plant-based meat sales compared with the same week last year. In contrast, sales of fresh animal meat over that time rose by only 30 percent.

One reason, analysts point out, is that the plant-based meat industry is less vulnerable to worker shortages. Production of plant-based meat is more automated and less reliant on labor, and companies can more easily adapt to changes in supply chains.

The spike in sales of plant-based meat has attracted investors. Stock prices for Beyond Meat—which had one of the most successful initial public offerings of 2019—recently jumped by more than 8 percent. InvestorPlace reports:
The idea that more consumers will buy Beyond Meat goods during a meat shortage is behind the increase to BYND stock. It could also result in a future boost to the stock should the predictions come true and the company sees more business.
Beyond Meat isn’t the only plant-based meat company achieving success during these uncertain times. Last week, Impossible Foods CFO David Lee announced that the company would soon begin selling its vegan Impossible Burger in nearly 1,000 grocery stores nationwide. Lee stated:
The home chef, just like the restaurateur, enjoys this Impossible Burger because it’s craveable and delicious but it makes you feel better about your health and your impact on the world.
There’s more good news for the plant-based industry. In a recent report, BofA Securities, the investment division of Bank of America, predicts that the plant-based protein market will be worth over $40 billion by the end of 2025—double its current value. The report states:
We are entering an exciting decade of Future Food technologies helping us to tackle the challenges facing the world and to feed our growing population sustainably. We believe the traditional food industry can be transformed by a wave of cutting-edge technologies.
Our food system is in dire need of reform. The COVID-19 crisis continues to expose the meat industry’s weaknesses and labor problems. Several processing plants nationwide have shut down, as their unsafe working conditions and failure to implement CDC-recommended safety protocols have likely caused hundreds of employees to contract the coronavirus.

Additionally, restaurant closures have contributed to a decline in demand for meat.

The crisis has shown just how broken our industrial food system is. And the meat industry is asking the USDA to bail them out. Join us in demanding that taxpayer money be used for long-term, systemic solutions, like helping farmers transition to plant-based farming, not propping up a crumbling industry.