Beyond Meat’s steak substitute hits grocery stores

Beyond meat is launching a steak substitute in grocery stores on Monday.

The new product will be rolled out nationwide in more than 5,000 Kroger and walmart stores, as well as Albertson, Ahold DelhaizeJewel-Osco, Sprouts and other local grocers.

The announcement concludes a tough month for the meat substitutes maker. Beyond ousted COO Doug Ramsey after he was arrested for allegedly biting another man’s nose. The company also announced plans to cut 19% of its workforce, or around 200 employees, along with the departure of its chief financial officer and the elimination of the position of chief growth officer.

In the midst of chaos, Beyond and Yum Brands’ Taco Bell has begun testing meatless carne asada using its Beyond Steak product at restaurants in Dayton, Ohio.

The Beyond Steak that will be sold in grocery stores is packaged in bite-size pieces. It uses bean protein as its base and contains 21 grams of protein per serving, according to the company. It also has a lower saturated fat content than beef steak and is cholesterol free. The 10-ounce package will cost $7.99.

Historically, product launches have boosted sales of Beyond, enticing new customers to try the item. That would be good news for the company, which has seen sales plummet and investors lose hope in its long-term growth prospects.

In the second quarter, Beyond reported that U.S. grocery sales rose just 2.2%, while restaurant revenue fell 2.4%. This year, the company’s shares have lost 80% of their value, reducing its market value to $821 million. At its all-time high in July 2019, Beyond was valued at $13.4 billion.

The pandemic shift to eating at home and loading pantries has benefited Beyond and other plant-based meat companies. But many shoppers didn’t continue eating meat alternatives once the novelty wore off, and inflation put pressure on budgets, making the more expensive alternatives even less appealing to consumers.

Not all Beyond launches have been successful. Shoppers weren’t keen on Beyond Meat Jerky, a meatless jerky made as part of the company’s joint venture with PepsiCo. Executives said in August that demand was lower than its initial estimates. Producing the snack has also been very expensive for Beyond, which has put pressure on its profit margins this year, although it is expected to decline.

Beyond is expected to report third quarter results after the November 9 bell.

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