Trend Alert: Beyond Meat

Trend Alert introduces you to the latest brands, products and services that are trending with 16-24s.

Stocks in Beyond Meat rose 600% in value in the first month after going public. Can the meat replacement brand, and the vegan trend as a whole, live up to the hype?

The growth of veganism is already big news in the food industry, and with the rise of meat alternatives expected to continue, investors are placing their bets on which brands will be leading the way. The latest to benefit from this excitement is Beyond Meat, an LA-based business that was listed on the stock market last month, and made headlines when it was valued at $3bn.

Beyond Meat was founded in 2009, and has been providing plant-based burgers to grocery stores around the world since 2016, including Tesco and Whole Foods. They also offer vegan alternatives to chicken and sausages, and provide meat replacements to restaurants such as TGI Fridays and Honest Burgers.

Beyond Meat may be making the news this week, but they’re not the only brand eyeing the vegan market. Along with competitors like Impossible Food, FMCG giants such as Nestle and Tyson Foods are also getting involved. Their interest follows a 600% growth in US citizens defining themselves as vegan between 2014 and 2017 (from 1% to 6% of the population).

Young consumers are credited with driving the vegan trend, in line with their passion for animal rights and environmental activism. Our latest Youth Trends Report found that only 2% of UK 16-24s eat vegan all the time, but 8% try to, and another 6% have been vegan in the past. We also saw high placings for Greggs and Ben & Jerry’s, brands who have proudly promoted their new vegan offerings in recent months, in our Youth 100 poll.

These stats suggest that a significant group of young people want to be vegan, but find it more challenging in practice than in theory. As vegan products, such as Beyond Meat, become more easily available and affordable to the average consumer, we’ll undoubtedly see an increase in Gen Z declaring themselves full time vegans.

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