Lower meat supply boosts sales of plant-based alternatives
Retail meat supplies are limited as both hog and cattle slaughter are down roughly 40 percent YOY, and consumers are buying excess meat to freeze for a later date, per Supermarket News. Various grocery store chains, including Costco and Kroger’s, have begun to limit the amount of real meat customers can purchase per trip.
These circumstances, along with consumer interest in environmentally sustainable foods, have led to significant sales growth for plant-based meat alternatives. For the last week of March 2020, sales of fresh (excluding frozen) meat alternatives were up 255 percent YOY, per Nielson.
As of May 5, Impossible Foods will begin selling its plant-based burgers in 1,700 Kroger stores across the U.S., which will increase the alternative meat company’s retail exposure eighteen-fold.
Rival and GMO-free Beyond Meat is rolling out plant-based burger value packs as well as discounts at select retailers this summer, per Reuters. However, even with beef prices rising due to the pandemic, Beyond burgers are still double to triple the price of traditional beef on a per pound basis.
According to Forbes, meat brand Gardein, owned by Conagra, reported a YOY sales increase of 65 percent from Mar. 13 to Apr. 19, and first-time customers accounted for 38 percent of that volume. Meanwhile, Tofurkey, which makes dozens of alternative meat products, reported sales growth of 40 percent in the last 12 weeks.
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