Above and Beyond: CEO Ethan Brown speaks before the Nasdaq opening bell.

Above and Beyond: CEO Ethan Brown speaks before the Nasdaq opening bell.

Beyond Meat turned its first quarterly profit and raised year-end growth forecasts on Oct. 28, but its shares fell sharply in after-hours trading as the company faces increasing competition in the meat substitute market.

Beyond Meat Chief Executive Ethan Brown downplayed concerns about new entrants in the market, saying a focus on innovation will help set Beyond Meat apart.

Beyond Meat revenue jumped 250% to $92 million in the third quarter, up from $26.3 million the in the same period a year earlier. About 45% of sales, or roughly $41.5 million, came from restaurants and food service establishments. The company has secured new deals with KFC, McDonald’s, Subway and Denny's — all of which are testing Beyond Meat products.

The company's solid earnings report is backed by a healthier balance sheet. Beyond Meat logged $4.1 million in income for the third quarter compared to a $9.3 million loss in the second quarter. The plant-based food maker also raised year-end revenue projections to $265 million to $275 million, up from a previously announced $240 million.

Brown said the company is looking to become an international brand and is laying the groundwork for broader distribution.

Beyond Meat will face tough competition. Tyson Foods Inc., the nation’s largest meat producer, and Nestle, the world’s biggest food company, both have new products aimed at “flexetarians” — carnivores looking for healthier alternatives to meat.

Manufacturing, retail and trade reporter Rachel Uranga can be reached at ruranga@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 556-8351. Follow her on Twitter @racheluranga.

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