Looks like Beyond Meat is scheduling a quick trip through Europe before its IPO next week. The company announced via corporate blog post that starting today, its plant-based Beyond Burgers will be available in 700+ Albert Heijn grocery locations throughout the Netherlands. The move comes just days after the company announced similar expansion plans in Albert Heijn stores in Belgium.
The moves come at a critical time for Beyond, which is set to go public next week. Beyond has been plagued with production issues in the past, which delayed its expansion in the UK for a time. Showing the public market that it can plant-based muscle its way into new European markets will be attractive for growth-hungry investors.
The news also comes during the same week that McDonald’s Germany announced it was going with Nestlé’s own plant-based, meat-like Incredible Burger for its new vegan menu item. Being a Swiss company, Nestlé has a leg up in the European market and the money to potentially box out Beyond before it can establish a foothold.
The entire plant-based meat sector is hot right now. According to Nielsen, sales of plant-based meat in the U.S. rose 42 percent from March 2016 and March 2019, with sales totaling $888 million.
Restaurants across the U.S. are jumping on the bandwagon with big chains like Burger King, Del Taco, Qdoba, Red Robin and White Castle all offering some kind of plant-based meat option from either Beyond or its rival, Impossible Foods.
Right now, Beyond’s moves into Europe are still in the grocery aisle, but if its IPO goes well, it will have the money to ramp up and roll out across more countries globally.