Beyond Meat renews push into QSRs

Along with continued marketing investment, the plant-based company strikes partnerships with McDonald's and Yum! Brands.

Along with another quarter of rising revenue, Beyond Meat has announced a pair of partnerships that will expand its presence in QSRs.

The plant-based meat company saw its fourth quarter revenue climb 3.5% year-over-year, while its annual revenue increased by 36.6% over 2019, to $406.8 million on the year. The growth of revenue comes in spite of weaker foodservice demand due to the pandemic.

“The fundamentals underpinning Beyond Meat’s long-term prospects remain robust, with important brand metrics such as household penetration, buyer rates, purchase frequency and repeat rates all registering another quarter of uninterrupted growth,” said Ethan Brown, the company’s president and CEO. “We have an opportunity to transition from niche market to mainstream stature with bold, strategic actions.”

Brown added that household penetration, buyer rates, purchase frequency and repeat rates all grew once again this quarter, helped by continued investment in marketing and “amplifying our marketing voice.”

Among the other strategic actions the company is taking are two new partnerships, announced alongside the Q4 and year-end earnings reports on Friday.

The first is a three-year global agreement with McDonald’s restaurants that will see Beyond Meat as the supplier of the patty in the new “McPlant” burger, which began testing in the U.S. earlier this week. It will also work with the QSR to develop other plant-based items for the restaurant’s menu, such as options for chicken, pork and egg products. In 2019, McDonald’s chose Canada as its first test market for plant-based burgers, working with Beyond Meat to develop the “P.L.T.”

Beyond Meat also has a new partnership with Yum! Brands, which owns the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell QSRs. The companies have worked in tandem in the past, with a limited Atlanta-area rollout of the Beyond Fried Chicken from KFC in 2019, with Pizza Hut introducing the Beyond Sausage Pizza and Great Beyond Pizza to its menu the following year. But also in 2019, KFC Canada worked with Maple Leaf-owned Lightlife to run a one-day trial of a plant-based chicken sandwich in Canada to gauge demand, receiving a national launch last year.

The new partnership will have Beyond Meat work across Yum’s restaurants; earlier this year, Taco Bell’s CEO hinted that Beyond Meat items would be coming to its menu in 2021.