Beyond Meat is rolling out its steak substitute in grocery stores

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Beyond Steak
Source: Beyond Meat

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

The new product will roll out nationwide at more than 5,000 Kroger and Walmart stores, as well as Albertsons, Ahold Delhaize, Jewel-Osco, Sprouts and other local grocers.

The announcement concludes a rocky month for the maker of meat alternatives. Beyond ousted Chief Operating Officer 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 roughly 200 employees, as well as the departure of its chief financial officer and the elimination of the chief growth officer role.

Amid the chaos, Beyond and Yum Brands’ Taco Bell started testing meatless carne asada using its Beyond Steak product at restaurants in Dayton, Ohio.

The Beyond Steak that will be sold in grocery stores comes packaged in bite-sized pieces. It uses faba bean protein as its base and contains 21 grams of protein per serving, according to the company. It also has lower saturated fat content than beef steak and contains no cholesterol. The 10-ounce package will retail for $7.99.

Historically, product launches have boosted Beyond’s sales, driving new and returning customers to try the item. That would be welcome news for the company, which has seen its sales slide and investors lose hope in its long-term growth prospects.

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

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

Not all Beyond launches have been a hit. Shoppers weren’t very keen on Beyond Meat Jerky, a meat-free jerky made through the company’s joint venture with PepsiCo. Executives said in August that demand was below its initial estimates. The snack item also has been very expensive for Beyond to produce, putting pressure on its profit margins this year, although that’s expected to wane.

Beyond is expected to report its third-quarter results after the bell on Nov. 9.

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