Beyond Meat appeals to Tyson Foods veterans as it gears up for fast food growth next year


Packages of Beyond Meat herbal burger patties are on display for sale.

Paul Yeung | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Beyond Meat has recruited two industry veterans from Tyson Foods for leadership roles as it prepares for large-scale launches next year.

Doug Ramsey will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer. He spent three decades at Tyson, overseeing his poultry and McDonald’s businesses. His experience with the fast food giant will be an asset to Beyond, which signed a three-year global deal with McDonald’s earlier this year. Beyond also has partnerships with the owner of Taco Bell, Yum Brands and PepsiCo.

Former Beyond COO, Sanjay Shah, left the company in September after less than two years in that role for a role in the Gopuff delivery department. Shah’s resume included time at Tesla and Amazon, but no food or drink companies.

In addition to Shah’s successor, Bernie Adcock will join as Supply Chain Director, a new role for Beyond, and report to Ramsey. He also worked at Tyson for over 30 years, focusing on operations and supply chain management.

“[Ramsey and Adcock] larger-scale protein production than anyone else at a cost structure that ordinary consumers can afford, ”Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown said in an interview.

“Growth on the table”

“Everything that we have going on, whether it’s the partnership with McDonald’s, with Yum, with PepsiCo, there’s huge growth on the table, and we need to make sure we have the best operational and chain capabilities. supply available to us and our customers, ”he added.

Tyson and Beyond have a story. Prior to Beyond’s initial public offering, Tyson was an investor in the company but sold its stake as it prepared to launch its own line of meat alternatives.

Shares of Beyond closed Tuesday up nearly 6% at $ 71.25. The stock has fallen 43% so far this year, dropping its market value to $ 4.5 billion.

Investors punished the title because slowing demand for groceries failed to offset the damage the Covid pandemic caused to its restaurant business. Short interest has also doubled since July, according to FactSet data, with some 36% of stocks sold short.

During its final quarter, the company also faced operational and supply chain issues that weakened sales. U.S. revenue fell 13.9% to $ 67.5 million in those three months.

Brown is more optimistic about next year, but the company has yet to provide a forecast for 2022. For the fourth quarter, Beyond expects net sales of $ 85 million to $ 100 million, with hopes that operational challenges will continue to weigh on its results. .

“I think what we’re going to see next year gives us the opportunity to really talk to the consumer again, given the number of launches we’re going to have and the potential to create excitement in the retail space. retail as a result of these activities, ”Brown said.

Launch with McDonald’s, PepsiCo in mind

McDonald’s is operational testing its Beyond Beef Substitute McPlant Burger at a handful of US restaurants and has started selling the meatless entry in several international markets. PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta told CNBC in September that the company hopes to launch new plant-based foods and drinks made under its joint venture with Beyond in early 2022.

A sign promoting the McDonald’s “PLT” burger with a Beyond Meat plant-based patty at one of 28 test restaurants in London, Ontario, Canada, October 2, 2019.

Moé Doiron | Reuters

As inflation concerns affect both businesses and consumers, the price hike gives Beyond more leeway to meet its price parity goals of undervaluing its animal meat competitors in at least. a type of meat by 2024, Brown said. Beef prices are rising as the company seeks to reduce the costs of its system, he said.

“Right now we have the opportunity to go back, especially in the United States and create a much more efficient production system,” Brown said, adding, “Overall, the inflationary prices you see , the pressures that you see in the protein market, will favor us. “

And as the omicron variant of the coronavirus remains unknown for the future, the company is ready to face potential challenges and build on maximizing existing product offerings, Brown said. The company has launched more than a dozen retail and restaurant products in the United States and abroad over the past two years. The pandemic disrupted its business, first by increasing retail sales as consumers filled up pantries, but then hurting its foodservice sales as restaurants closed.

“I think what we’re going to do [in the face of pandemic-related challenges] is to focus on the product that we have already brought to market, because trying to grow during the pandemic and introduce new products can be a challenge, ”he said.


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