Beyond Reason


Vegan is here to stay. That’s not up for debate. But what is interesting is watching how the money people respond to big trends in food. Beyond Meat has hoiked up its share price to $23-25 for its float. This gives us potentially a $1.5bn food business, 70% of revenue coming from the signature yellow pea and beetroot blood burger.

Every single major retailer has brought plant led ranges to the fore. Many offer fake burgers and mimics of familiar meaty junk food. And yet, the next generation has been brought up knowing that meat reduction is critical. Many shun meat entirely. They aren’t looking for meat substitutes, they just want to celebrate vegetables and grains with flavoursome plant centric eating.

Flexitarianism is a concept more amazing to ‘older’ people in marketing, NPD and running restaurants. In meeting rooms all over the country they talk to their imaginary customer: ‘Do you really feel you can choose what you want to do every day? Is it the norm for you to expect personalisation and wide choice? You don’t seem to pick and stick – to diets, take away joints, favourite beer. What is it really like being you?’

Britain remains a country of carnivores at 73%, 79% of whom say they are not likely to go  vegetarian any time soon.

There are moments in time where one product helps consumers transition from A to B. Products that last one or two generations and then become less relevant. Alcopops, babyfood in jars and mini discs all spring to mind.

Beyond meat is breaking ground in so many ways and it is absolutely needed in the world today. But…how relevant is a meat free burger to the next generation? Will this valuation all end in unicorn tears?