Plant-based Meat Gets Pushback From Missouri and France

As more consumers gravitate to plant-based diets, multiple vegan companies have emerged to provide more options that fit into these consumers' lifestyle.

While Beyond Meat just filed an IPO, this plant-based burger company, along with others in the market appear to be facing legal challenges from the state of Missouri and the country France.

"In France, you can now be fined 300,000 euros (about $343,000) if you “use ‘steak,’ ‘sausage,’ or any other meat term to describe products that are not partly or wholly made up of meat,” BBC reports. This rule also applies to dairy alternatives," writes "Fortune."

Even using the a term before steak like "soy steak" isn't allowed.

Missouri passed similar legislation this year over the legal term of meat.

"Missouri lawmakers earlier this year banned food marketers from marketing a product as meat if it’s not made of livestock or poultry. The fine for violations can run as high as $1,000, and you can end up incarcerated in a penitentiary," writes "Fortune."

But as "Fortune" points out– why isn't peanut butter forced to adhere to these types of laws That's because some meat companies are declaring war on plant-based meat.

Missouri Cattlemen’s Association pushed for the law and then in France, a cattle rancher sponsored the bill.

While some are trying to halt the plant-based companies’ growth, others are jumping on the veggie meat bandwagon.

Tyson Foods invested in Beyond Meat back in 2017 and then in Memphis Meats, a lab-created meat company.

“We continue to invest significantly in our traditional meat business, but also believe in exploring additional opportunities for growth that give consumers more choices," said Justin Whitmore, executive vice president corporate strategy and chief sustainability officer of Tyson Foods when the company invested in Memphis Meats.

Cargill also invested in Memphis Meats saying it was a move "all about sustainability."

Read more about these laws barring plant-based products from using the term meat at “Fortune” now.

Will more laws like this arise? And how will Beyond Meat respond?

We recently covered Beyond Meat's massive growth and the company's decision to go public on an episode of The Barron Report. Watch the video below to see how this company's Wall Street move will impact the plant-based industry.

Beyond Meat Goes Public

A few weeks ago, there were rumors that the plant-based company Beyond Meat was planning to go public before the end of the year.

Well, these rumors ended up being true because last Friday, Beyond Meat filed an initial public offering for $100 million.

Beyond Meat reported $56.4 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2018, which is a 167 percent spike from last year.

"Going forward, we intend to continue to invest in innovation, supply chain capabilities, manufacturing and marketing initiatives," said the company in the filing.

The plant-based market is growing at a rapid rate as more consumers gravitate to a vegetarian or flexitarian lifestyle.

Plant-based consumption is up over 300 percent over the last year, according to our Foodable Labs data.

The Good Food Institute (GFI) has also released market data from Nielsen showing that the sales of this sector have recently exceeded $3.7 billion and that plant-based meat sales specifically have increased by 23 percent.

Beyond Meat was one the first companies to offer a vegan burger and quickly emerged as one of the biggest players in the plant-based protein market.

Besides being the first plant-based burger to be sold in the meat section at Whole Foods, the company has partnered with restaurants and food distributors across the country to get the Beyond Burger on more menus.

Beyond Meat has sold over 25 million veggie burgers that are "the closest thing to meat" ever created, boasts the company.

But the company has developed a product mimicking meat for a reason. Its target demographic aren't vegans and vegetarians, instead, it's flexitarians who may eat meat but choose not to often because of its environmental impact.

"Instead of marketing and merchandising The Beyond Burger to vegans and vegetarians (who represent less than 5% of the U.S. population), we request that the product be sold in the meat case at grocery retailers, where meat-loving consumers are accustomed to shopping for center-of-plate proteins," writes the company in the filing.

The Beyond Burger is now available in 11,000 grocery stores across the country.

Read more about Beyond Meat going public at "CNN."

Don’t miss The Barron Report episode below where Paul Barron goes into more detail about the plant-based company’s move to go public.