Beyond Meat will no longer be bringing their plant-based burgers across the pond.
The startup announced last year that it would launch in the U.K. sometime in 2018 and later finalized plans to sell their burgers in 350 locations of British supermarket chain Tesco by early August. The Grocer broke the news yesterday that this launch has now been delayed until the fall.
Executive Chair Seth Goldman told the Grocer that they had seen “much higher than expected” demand for the burger not only in the U.S., but also in their U.K. soft launch last month. He went on to say that they didn’t want to kick off sales in a new country if they couldn’t keep shelves stocked.
In all likelihood, they couldn’t. California-based Beyond Meat has indeed been experienced increasingly high demand as of late: in May, the company told Plant Based News that their patty was outselling beef burgers in some stores. In an attempt to ramp up production, they opened a new burger-making facility in Columbia, Missouri earlier this summer which could triple production output.
The Beyond burger is currently available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Germany, and Hong Kong. In the U.K., as in the U.S., the plant-based burgers will be sold alongside beef in Tesco chilled meat aisles. They are expected to retail for £5.55 ($7.12), which is on par with their U.S. price.
When I wrote about Beyond Meat’s skyrocketing sales numbers in June, I wondered if the startup would be able to keep meeting the growing demand for alterna-meat. I think I just got my answer.
Hopefully, this is a wake-up call to Beyond (and other plant-based meat producers) that creating the demand is not enough — you have to meet it, too. Which makes companies like Seattle Food Tech, a startup creating new manufacturing practices to help scale plant-based meat production, all the more important.
P.S. Alterna-meat loving Brits, don’t despair! If you’re looking for a burger made of plants that looks, tastes, and bleeds like meat, you’ve still got some options — both in restaurants and on grocery shelves.