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from the Morning Brew:
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the traditional meat industry’s weak spots—namely, preventing outbreaks among workers. The difficulty of keeping slaughterhouses functioning safely has led to plant shutdowns, which themselves have led to spikes in wholesale prices. Meanwhile, alternative meat is gaining ground on two fronts.
No. 1: It’s picking up the grocery pace. The sector’s U.S. retail sales grew 265% in the eight weeks leading up to mid-April, according to Nielsen, compared to 39% for fresh meat.
No. 2: Alt-meat is riding a huge funding wave. At $930 million, Q1 investments in alt-meat companies topped 2019’s total fundraising haul (yes, including Beyond Meat’s $250 million IPO), per alt-protein lobbying firm the Good Food Institute.
- Plant-based meat company Impossible Foods raised $500 million, while media/alt-food brand LiveKindly pulled in $200 million.
Bottom line: While some of this momentum is driven by the pandemic, a Berenberg analyst told the Financial Times that broad consumer trends toward environmentalism, healthy eating, and animal welfare will likely keep buoying the alt-meat sector.