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Beyond Meat is struggling, and the plant-based meat industry worries

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For a while, it seemed like Beyond Meat was going to take over the world.

His fake burgers and sausages ended up on plates in homes across the United States and on the menus of chains like Subway, Carl’s Jr., and Starbucks. When the company went public in 2019, its shares soared as investors bet the meatless movement was finally having its moment. During the pandemic, Beyond Meat grocery store sales soared as curious consumers sampled the vegan options.

But these days, Beyond Meat has lost some of its crackle.

The stock has plummeted nearly 83% over the past year. Sales, for which the company had expected an increase of up to 33% this year, are only likely to grow slightly. McDonald’s this year completed a pilot of the McPlant burger made with a Beyond Meat patty, with no plans to add it to the menu permanently.

In late October, the company announced it was laying off 200 employees, or 19% of its workforce. And four top executives have departed in recent months, including the chief financial officer, chief supply chain officer and chief operating officer, whom Beyond Meat suspended after his arrest over allegations that he assaulted another man in a parking garage row nose bitten.

What investors and others are debating now is whether Beyond Meat’s struggles are specific to the company or a harbinger of deeper problems in the plant-based meat industry.

“At the category level, we’re now seeing declining volumes for plant-based meats for 22 consecutive months,” said John Baumgartner, consumer nutrition analyst at financial institution Mizuho Americas.

A few years ago, investors expected the category to explode with year-on-year growth, Baumgartner said. Now, he said, those expectations are being reconsidered.

“We’re positive about the future of plant-based meat, but that’s a 20- to 25-year story,” he said. “It’s not going to happen in three, five or ten years.”

Some say the slowdown in sales is a product of food inflation as consumers swap higher-priced plant-based meats for cheaper animal meats. But others wonder if the companies have simply reached the maximum number of consumers willing to try or repeatedly buy fake burgers and sausages.

Analysts from Deloitte, who conducted a consumer survey this year, questioned whether the 53% who didn’t buy plant-based meat could be turned into customers.

“The category has long been growing at double-digit rates and should continue, but what we’ve seen this year is that the number of consumers who bought it hasn’t increased,” said Justin Cook, U.S. head of research for consumer products at Deloitte.

While inflation played a role, so did a decline in the perception that plant-based meats are healthier than animal proteins. (The companies are focused on the environmental benefits.) But analysts at Deloitte said another issue could be resistance to a product that some customer segments see as “swept” and linked to left-leaning ideas.

When restaurant chain Cracker Barrel announced on its Facebook page in August that it had started offering the meatless “Impossible Sausage,” the post was flooded with thousands of comments from angry customers. “Go wake up go broke,” wrote one. “You just lost a ton of your base. Obviously you don’t know your customers.”

The data surrounding the category is mixed. According to IRI, a market research firm, sales volumes of chilled plant-based meats fell by 11.6% last year, with packaging featuring artificial ground beef and pies being hit particularly hard. However, sales of frozen plant-based meats, which are usually cheaper than the chilled products, declined only slightly. Sales of artificial chicken nuggets and patties rose sharply.

While some plant-based meat producers are struggling, others are also seeing rising sales.

In October, Brazilian meatpacking giant JBS announced it was closing its plant-based meat operation, Planterra Foods, after just two years. And sales volumes of vegetarian meatmaker Morningstar Farms, which Kellogg is reportedly planning to spin off or potentially sell, have fallen sharply in nearly all categories this year, according to IRI data. Speaking to Wall Street analysts in August, Kellogg chief executive Steven Cahillane attributed the decline to supply chain issues with a co-maker of the products.

But privately held company Impossible Foods said demand for its products has surged over the past year.

“We’re not experiencing anything like what Beyond Meat has reported, or some of the other brands in this space,” Keely Sulprizio, a spokesman for Impossible Foods, said in an email. “On the contrary, we are seeing strong growth with over 60% annual sales growth in retail alone.”

IRI data shows that sales volumes of Impossible ground beef and Impossible patties declined slightly, while volumes in other categories, including frozen fake meat and chicken, soared.

“We’ve recently launched frozen food with a larger family size, and it’s been very popular with both retailers and consumers,” Sulprizio said.

Speaking to Wall Street analysts in early November, Ethan Brown, founder and chief executive officer of Beyond Meat, said more and more plant-based meat producers are struggling to capture a smaller group of consumers as shoppers switch to cheaper animal-based proteins. As a result, “a shakeout appears to be underway and we expect more brands to either exit or consolidate,” Brown said. Beyond Meat declined to comment on this article beyond speaking with analysts.

While the company hoped to restore growth to its chilled products, which boast some of the highest margins, Brown found it expanded distribution for many of its frozen products.

“Frozen plant-based chicken is the largest single subcategory of any plant-based meat and continues to grow at double-digit rates,” he said.

Brown also noted that McDonald’s continued to offer the McPlant burger in other markets, including the UK and Ireland, and that Beyond Meat was testing new products with other chains, including KFC and Taco Bell.

Panda Express, for example, said in September that it would be offering Beyond the Original Orange Chicken on its menu nationwide for a limited time, after an initial offering in New York City and Southern California last year sold out in less than two weeks.

It “showed us just how much demand there is for an innovative plant-based dish at Panda,” Evelyn Wah, vice president of brand innovation at Panda Express, said in an email. She added, “We’re delighted with the positive sentiment we’ve received from our guests.”

Baumgartner said when his company asked consumers in a survey why they didn’t buy plant-based meat, they said they didn’t like the taste. While competing companies continue to improve existing products and quickly introduce new ones, he is concerned that some products are coming to market too quickly.

“They don’t sell iPhone version 1.0, and maybe it’s not the best and greatest, but the consumer can upgrade to version 2.0, which has better graphics and keyboard,” Baumgartner said. “In the food industry, if you put something on the market that isn’t quite where it should be in terms of quality and taste, and the consumer tries it and has a bad experience, they don’t come back.”

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Head to Edmonds for the classic dim sum cart experience and some tasty BBQ

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It is official. I can’t get dim sum out of my head. I blame my colleagues. First there was Bethany Jean Clement’s interview with Canlis chef Aisha Ibrahim praised the dumplings at Joyale’s. Then I found perfect rice rolls at Kirkland’s dim sum for breakfast Discover the Early Bird Cafe. To top it all off, Tan Vinh proclaimed Renton’s Triumph Valley best dim sum anywhere outside of Richmond, BC

But I firmly believe that there are never enough dumplings in life. With that in mind, I have one more dim sum spot to tempt you – T&T Seafood in Edmonds, where clattering metal carts full of steamers roll through the expansive dining room and somber aquariums filled with giant lobsters fill the back wall.

The friend I met on a Monday afternoon before lunch at the Strip Mall around 99 Ranch Market said she had always wanted to go to T&T, but on the weekends it was impossible to get a table. While it was busy on a Monday we were seated right away so it seems like weekdays are the way to go if you can swing it.

About 30 seconds after we were seated, a pot of hot tea was brought to our table (each table has a QR code attached for off-menu orders). Before the tea was fully steeped, a cart stopped and offered rice buns, pancakes, and all fried foods. There’s also a second cart with steamed buns, dumplings and all the offal – chicken feet, honeycomb and flat tripe and sinew.

The carts spun around constantly, and while a few items were always on offer (pork shu mai, steamed shrimp), there were others that unfortunately only showed up after I was full (the nest-like fried shrimp balls).

The offerings are dim sum’s biggest hits, many of which are well done. Of the things we were able to snatch from the cart, the standouts were the steamed jumbo shrimp, crispy fried shrimp and chive dumplings, pork shu mai, and fried shrimp paste tofu. I also enjoyed the baked barbecue pork buns that were topped with a hint of gooey icing — but the pork to bun ratio was a bit off as there just wasn’t enough pork.

However, the absolute best thing we tried was the half barbecue duck ($18.80) ordered off the regular menu. The polished skin crackles lightly under the thin, flavorful sauce, giving way to that luscious layer of duck fat and impossibly juicy meat. There’s a small bowl of viscous, ginger-heavy dipping sauce that adds a layer of flavor but isn’t necessary at all. The half-size portion has a fair amount of neck meat, which is a hands-on experience for anyone who feels like it, but there are plenty of boneless platters to take away, too.

I’ll definitely be returning for that duck – but also to get my hands on all the smacking shrimp dim sum – and to further explore the extensive menu with a variety of pasta and rice dishes and soups.

T&T Seafood 10am-8:30pm Monday-Thursday, 10am-9:30pm Friday-Sunday, Dim Sum served daily from 10am-3pm; 22511 Highway 99 #103, Edmonds; 425-776-3832; tandtseafoodrestaurant.comcastbiz.net

Elsewhere at the crossroads of Edmonds and grilled meats, there’s a slip of a square in the Perrinville neighborhood Fat pork BBQ. There is a small barrel smoker just outside and as soon as you walk in the room has a window for ordering and a few tables for eating.

I ordered a rack of ribs ($24.95), a quarter chicken ($6.75), and a small pulled pork menu ($12.50) that included a bun, baked beans, and coleslaw.

Each of the cuts of meat has been coated in varying degrees in a rich, sweet and tangy barbecue sauce. It’s drizzled over the tender pulled pork, peeled onto the chargrilled chicken thighs and thighs and — perhaps most importantly — smudged all over the ribeye, which is so tender the meat falls off the bone with ease.

I’ve thought about these ribs at least three times since I ate them – and that includes Thanksgiving weekend, which I basically spent four days feasting on! They were incredibly tender, and the barbecue sauce softened the little black bits clinging to the edges. They were definitely cheeky, but in a way the chicken was lovely too – and both were still lovely the next day.

The menu has options to have meat as part of a meal – like the pulled pork I ordered – or on its own. The beans that came with the meal had this sweet/spicy/vinegar thing. The coleslaw was forgetful, but I think the ideal way to eat it is on a mushy bun along with the pork and an extra dash of that barbecue sauce (there’s a sandwich on the menu).

Fat pork BBQ 11:00-7:30 Sunday-Thursday, 11:00-20:00 Friday-Saturday; 7533 Olympic View Drive, Edmonds; 425-361-7640; eatfatpigbbq.com

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Angela Harnett reveals which chefs she is a big fan of

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Angela Hartnett reveals how she will be cooking her Christmas dinner this year (Image: Delivered)

TV chef Angela Hartnett on howling at Gordan Ramsay and her Italian version of Christmas dinner.

As both you and your husband are chefs, do you cook cordon bleu every night?

We don’t have three course meals every night! That’s the day job. Some nights we might just have a little cheese on toast and other nights we might just have a bowl of soup.

Most of the time we work in restaurants anyway, but whoever gets home first usually cooks.

Who are your personal favorite chefs?

I love Delia Smith, Nigel Slater, Nigella Lawson, Rick Stein and Keith Floyd, but to be honest I don’t really watch a lot of TV shows about cooking. It’s a bit like a bus driver’s vacation, isn’t it? I much prefer going out or watching a good comedy. I love Ted Lasso.

Where did you do your training as a chef?

Nigella Lawson is one of Angela’s favorite chefs (Image: Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Not me. I never went to cooking school, I studied history. After that I learned in jobs, worked in kitchens. I worked for Gordon Ramsay for a long time.

What’s it like to be on the wrong side of one of his famous rollocks?

Nobody wants to be yelled at, but you can understand why he does it. He has a job to do and he wants to do it well. I have worked with Gordon for 17 years. You wouldn’t work with someone for so long if they were a horrible person. He simply demands excellence!

Tell us about your podcast dish…

Nadiya Hussain is one of Angela’s podcast guests on this series (Image: Dave Benett/Getty Images)

It’s like inviting people over for dinner and a nice chat. I mainly cook and Nick Grimshaw mainly chats and serves the drinks. Season 2 guests included Vernon Kay, Nadiya Hussain and Stanley Tucci. I made a Wild Mushroom Tagliatelle for Martin Kemp, that was nice. I describe what I cook for the audience and we send a link to the recipes.

Do you have cooking traditions in your family?

She co-hosts the podcast with Nick Grimshaw (Image: Jed Cullen/Getty Images)

Mom’s family is Italian… at Christmas we make a Sicilian pasta dish called anellini. For Easter we make a delicious tortelli made of spinach and ricotta. I’m lucky that all my aunts and cousins ​​are great cooks, so we all help to prepare together. I make the broth and it’s become a tradition.

Do you still cook every day?

Yes. I have four restaurants in total, all in London, but I’m based in Murano. They are basically self sufficient and I only go when I have to.

Dish is available from all podcast providers

MORE : flowers, terrible! Delia Smith examines Heston’s cooking technique

MORE : Bake Off’s Nadiya Hussain reveals how cooking is helping her family cope with the death of her sister-in-law

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TikTok Shop livestream ecommerce platform for Malaysian SMEs

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[This is a sponsored article with TikTok.]

More than just a social media app for endless scrolling fun, tick tock has become a worthy contender in the e-commerce scene TikTok shop.

Ever since TikTok Shop hit the Malaysian coast earlier this year, SMEs have been using the platform to scale their growth.

During the e-commerce event on 11.11. TikTok Shop ran its own 11.11 mega sale campaign, offering a range of products from local and global sellers alike.

Free shipping vouchers, coupon giveaways and other items from participating brands were also distributed during the livestream sessions.

With the help of the TikTok team, we spoke to merchants such as ZUCCA, Alha Alfa, Gaborand designs who shared their experience of selling on the platform during the 11.11 campaign.

Boost local SMEs

TikTok champions “shoppertainment,” allowing users to shop within the app themselves while being entertained.

The social media platform seamlessly integrates TikTok Shop with live stream videos from merchants promoting their products.

You can find these videos on the “LIVE” tab in the app, or stumble across them on your For You page, where you can access a seller’s shop and buy their products in TikTok itself.

For consumers, this means easy shopping, while for sellers, it’s a model that greatly increases their visibility.

Screenshots of what it’s like to shop at the TikTok Shop

During the mega sales campaign on 11.11. of TikTok Shop, which lasted a week, women’s clothing brand ZUCCA saw a 502.37% increase in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) from the campaign on 10/10.

To drive live sales, RM110,000 worth of vouchers were issued, half of which were claimed.

Photo credit: ZUCCA

ZUCCA also held a prize draw worth RM30,000 to increase viewers’ viewing time, resulting in a 302.26% increase in video views and a 46.81% increase in watch time. On 11.11. the brand launched RM11 worth of merchandise and vouchers to reward loyal customers.

Screenshots of ZUCCA’s followers and engagement on TikTok / Photo credit: ZUCCA

The ZUCCA team is convinced of this based on their experience Telling followers how their products would benefit them rather than hard selling contributed to the success of the brand.”

We took the opportunity to use TikTok Shop live stream to get more engagement and Find out what our users needto build a stronger relationship with our customers,” the team at ZUCCA shared.

Founder of Alha Alfa, Datuk Abdul Al Halim Al Fadzil / Photo credit: Alha Alfa

Local cosmetics brand Alha Alfa held raffles where customers only had to buy one item from their store to be entered. Prizes included items like an iPhone 14, a mini fridge, or a makeup storage box, to name a few.

Screenshots of Alha Alfa’s followers, engagement and views on TikTok

Apart from the raffle, Alha Alfa also held promotions with buy 1 free 1 offers and up to 80% off the store’s products. The brand also collaborated with local celebrity Zara Zya in its promotional efforts and attracted more traffic during the live stream.

Based on these initiatives, Alha Alfa saw an average of 2.2,000 views between November 8th and 11th, while its GMV is projected to grow by 3,423.38%.

Dato Alha, who founded the brand, shared that he appreciates TikTok Shop’s ease of use, which makes it easier for merchants to engage with audiences. He added that being able to demonstrate a product in live streams encourages customers to buy.

“With this, we’ve managed to make a profit and grow our business slightly as it helps us attract new customers alongside our existing ones,” he said.

Image source: Gaabor

Gaabor, a consumer electronics brand, works with over 100 developers (aka hosts) of TikTok Shop partners to conduct live streams and post short videos promoting the brand’s products.

Did you know: TikTok Shop Partner (TSP) Hosts are service providers for TikTok Shop sellers, helping them to manage content creation, live stream production with purchases, business operations, etc.

A contest was also held between creators to see who could bring in the most GMV over a given period of time.

Screenshots of Gaabor’s followers, engagement and views on TikTok

With the help of these developers, Gaabor claimed that his GMV grew by 680% while order revenue increased by 800% since his 10.10 campaign.

Free giveaways were also presented during their live streams. During the 11.11 campaign, the brand’s total number of live streams grew to 10 hours per day, with live stream views increasing by 400%.

Photo credit: Dessini

Another consumer electronics brand, Dessini, can attest to similar success. With the help of TSP hosts, the brand generated $102.5K (RM 464.3K) in revenue from live streams, which also represented a 326% GMV growth compared to the 10.10 campaign.

Dessini’s live stream views also saw a 253% growth, and the brand reported that its development team streamed non-stop for 17 hours.

Screenshots of Gaabor’s followers and engagement on TikTok

Study of past historical data Identifying effective TSP hosts was a key factor that Dessini’s team believed could increase traffic.

They added, “After joining the TikTok Shop, our cumulative sales volume reached more than 7 million RM, which increased the overall performance of our business by 10%.”

Dessini’s team shared their gratitude, noting that TikTok Shop was able to turn them into a “hot-selling brand” in a matter of months.

Shopping seamlessly integrated into content

According to Wilson Leong, FMCG category director of TikTok Shop Malaysia, the platform’s intention is to shape the e-commerce space in Malaysia and maximize the potential of local business owners in shoppertainment.

As an avid TikTok lurker myself (where I only watch content and tag my friends but don’t post anything), it’s commendable that the platform is expanding beyond its usual short video content.

With more festive seasons just around the corner, the platform hopes more SMB owners and online retailers will come on board to take advantage of its shoppertainment features here.

TikTok is available for free on the app store, Google play storeand Huawei App Gallery.

  • Register your business in the TikTok shop here.
  • Read other eCommerce related articles we have written here.

Credit for select images: Vulcan Post

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