Prior to its retail distribution, Beyond Meat products -- the Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage -- were served at 925 A&W fast food locations, said the company, which is preparing to go public via an IPO that would value it at up to $1.2bn.
"On the heels of our successful launch with A&W that introduced Canadians to the delicious taste of The Beyond Burger, retail is the natural next step for our brand," commented Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown.
Full retail footprint in Canada:
- Co-op Food Stores
- Georgia Main Food Group: Fresh Street Market & IGA
- Loblaw: Fortinos, Maxi and Superstore
- Metro: Food Basics and Super C
- Save On Foods: PriceSmart, Urban Fare
- Sobeys: Foodland, Freshco, IGA, IGA Extra, Price Chopper, Rachelle-Béry, Safeway, Sobeys Urban Fresh and Thrifty Foods
- Whole Foods Market
The Beyond Burger (SRP of $7.49 to $7.99 CAD) will be merchandised in the chilled meat case at Canadian retail stores alongside traditional meat products.
Canada's growing plant-based protein industry
The brand is entering Canada's growing plant-based market as more consumers switch over to plant-based alternatives supported by industry and government initiatives promoting plant-based eating. Last year, the government of Canada announced a $150m investment in the plant protein industry and in September 2018 the Plant-Based Foods of Canada (PBFC) was formed, an industry organization that supports the regulatory and market interests of plant-based food companies in Canada.
In 2019, Canada also made updates to its nutritional food guide, which now recommends that Canadians choose plant-based proteins over meat and dairy products more often in order to promote healthier lifestyles and conserve environmental resources such as land, water, and air.
Commenting on the 2019 Canada Food Guide, Beyond Meat said that it "works in service of that vision by sourcing the same building blocks of meat -- proteins, fats, trace minerals and water --- directly from the plant kingdom, and then using them to rebuild meat from the ground up without sacrificing taste or texture."
The Beyond Burger, which is designed to look and cook like a regular meat patty, contains 20g of protein (from mung, rice, and pea protein) with less total and saturated fat than traditional beef burgers.
“We are about accessibility and meeting people where they’re at in their journey -- whether you're a hardcore carnivore or a strict vegan, you should be able to have our burgers, enjoy what you're eating and feel great afterward,” said Brown.
According to an April 22 SEC filing on its initial public offering (IPO), Beyond Meat expects to raise $166.3m to $183.8m (it will offer 8.75m shares at $19-21), which would value it at up to $1.21bn. It generated net losses of $29.9m on net revenues of net revenues of $87.9m in 2018.
Instead of marketing and merchandising the Beyond Burger to vegans and vegetarians (who represent less than 5% of the US population), said the filing, "We request that the product be sold in the meat case at grocery retailers, where meat-loving consumers are accustomed to shopping for center-of-plate proteins."
Litigation update: 'We intend to vigorously defend ourselves'
The filing also noted that Beyond Meat had been sued by a former co-manufacturer, Don Lee Farms, which alleged that Beyond Meat had "wrongfully terminated the parties’ contract and that we misappropriated their trade secrets principally by sharing with subsequent co-manufacturers the processes for manufacturing our products—processes which they claim to have developed."
Beyond Meat then countersued, alleging - among other things - that Don Lee Farms breached its supply agreement "as certain of our products manufactured by Don Lee Farms were contaminated with salmonella and other foreign objects, and that Don Lee Farms did not take appropriate actions to address these issues."
It added: "We intend to vigorously defend ourselves against the claims and prosecute our own."