Beyond Meat is moving beyond niche, debuting in two QSRs—Del Taco and Carl’s Jr.—over the last several months. Formerly restricted to Whole Foods grocery aisles and pretentious burger joints like Hopdoddy, the entirely plant-based burger patty (peas, faba beans, soy, and beets are the main ingredients), is quite popular. It counts Bill Gates and lifetime ‘it’ boy Leonardo DiCaprio as celebrity investors, to say nothing of General Mills, Tyson Chicken, and even the SPCA on the corporate side.
It’s a short week and still relatively quiet in the hallways, so we are gonna bet that not many of you have too much time to devote to your weekly market research fix.
As with burgers and fast food, there has been a recent plant-based surge in the dairy case, particularly with beverages such as soy and almond milk (though the dairy industry would prefer you reserve the term 'milk' for their products). Indeed, the global dairy alternative drink market is expected to bring in $16.3 billion this year, and when expanded to include dairy-free food alternatives like yogurt and cheese, the market is expected to be at $30 billion by 2024.
The United States Cattlemen’s Association is charging at the makers of meatless burger patties with a Pamplona-like fury. The unlikely supplicants recently filed a 15-page petition with the USDA soliciting an official definition of “meat” and “beef” amidst a new crop of plant-based burgers—made most notably by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods—that inch ever closer towards meat mimicry.
Plant Power, a vegan fast food restaurant with a vaguely political name, believes it is on the forefront of a movement that will reshape the American Diet, culture, and, most importantly for the purposes of this market research blog, fast food. The restaurant, complete with “sonic style” drive up, moves and shakes like any typical fast food joint with one glaring exception: everything (yes, EVERYTHING) they serve is entirely (yes, ENTIRELY) plant-based.