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Tuesday, Oct 4, 2022

Beyond Meat Launches Ecommerce Site

Beyond Meat Inc., a maker of plant-based meat alternatives, launched an ecommerce website last month as part of a strategy to explore new or under-tapped retail opportunities.

The website, shop.beyondmeat.com, offers bulk packs of the El Segundo-based company’s burger patties, ground beef-like products and breakfast sausages. Orders are packaged in an insulated shipping box that can be recycled, and they can be delivered in the contiguous United States via two-day UPS shipping.

“Our products are already available at approximately 26,000 retail outlets across the U.S., including at Walmart, Target, Costco, Sam’s Club, Whole Foods Market, Kroger and Safeway, but as shopping habits are expanding to include grocery delivery, we felt this was a moment to empower our consumers and offer another touchpoint to engage with Beyond Meat,” Chief Growth Officer Chuck Muth said in an email.

The company is fulfilling and shipping orders from Beyond Meat facilities in Columbia, Mo., and bundling products in larger quantities to help reduce packaging. 

“As sustainability is core to our mission, the orders are packaged in recyclable shipping boxes through UPS carbon-neutral shipping, which supports wastewater treatment and landfill gas capture projects that offset projected emissions,” Muth said.

He added that Beyond Meat didn’t need to hire new employees to handle the direct-
to-consumer effort as it was “able to tap the expertise of internal resources including our COO who came from Amazon where he helped scale their North American fulfillment center operations.”

The company’s plant-based products are sold at approximately 112,000 stores and food service outlets in 85 countries. Its revenue for the most recent quarter totaled $113.3 million, a 69% increase from the prior year. 

In June, Beyond Meat said it would open a manufacturing facility in the Netherlands in collaboration with Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat. The facility is expected to be operational by the end of the year and supply wholesale and restaurant customers in Europe. 

On Sept. 8, the company announced it had forged a deal to start manufacturing plant-based products, including those resembling beef, pork and chicken, in China, via its subsidiary Beyond Meat (Jiaxing) Food Co., Ltd. 

The production facilities will be in the Jiaxing Economic and Technological Development Zone, “a historic and commercially important development zone with ready access to Shanghai,” according to the company.

“China is one of the world’s largest markets for animal-based meat products, and potentially for plant-based meat,” Beyond Meat Founder and Chief Executive Ethan Brown said in a statement. 

“We are delighted and confident that after several months of productive and collaborative discussions, we will partner with the JXEDZ to develop two production facilities, including one of the world’s largest and technologically advanced plant-based meat factories,” he added.

Trial production in China will start “within months,” with full-scale production scheduled for early 2021. 

China is “expected to be one of the most important markets in the world for Beyond Meat, as a production and R&D center, and as a major market in the years to come,” according to the company. 

The country is also home to one of Beyond Meat’s four suppliers of pea protein, a principal ingredient in most of its products.  

Beyond Meat, which launched Beyond Meatballs last week, ended 2019 with $297.9 million in revenue and 472 full-time employees, including contract workers and approximately 104 scientists, engineers, researchers, technicians and chefs.

Mediha DiMartino
Mediha DiMartino
Mediha DiMartino covers retail, manufacturing and the ports. She can be emailed here.

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