Yesterday Beyond Meat made headlines when it became the first plant-based meat company to go public.
But this is just the beginning. Ever since we first heard rumblings about Beyond’s IPO we’ve been thinking about what this means for the plant-based meat space in general. Sure, Beyond is the first alterna-meat company to go public, but so far the future is looking rosy; Bloomberg notes that the company had the biggest IPO pop since the 2008 financial crisis. Its shares nearly tripled in price on the first day of trading and it’s still up on Day Two.
With its success, Beyond is paving the way for other alterna-meat companies to go for IPOs of their own.
It’s not hard to guess who will be next. The Redwood City, Calif.-based Impossible Foods is Beyond Meat’s most public competitor. Both companies are using high-level technology to create “meat” that’s good enough to fool even hardcore carnivores, making big plays into restaurant chains and grocery (Impossible plans to be in retail by the end of this year). Heck, their CEOs even have the same last name: Brown.
Impossible may have entered the scene later — it was founded in 2011, Beyond in 2009 — but in some ways it seems almost more prepared for an IPO. It has raised $387.5 million, almost triple Beyond’s pre-IPO $122 million. Impossible also has a bigger fast food chain presence: it’s on menus at Burger King, Qdoba, and White Castle, while Beyond has a smaller footprint at Carl’s Jr., Del Taco and A&W (only in Canada). Both Impossible and Beyond recently came out with a revamped meaty recipe 2.0, but Impossible’s won the “Best of the Best” award at CES and has been making much bigger waves in the media.
Outside the startup realm, Beyond’s success could also incentivize Tyson to accelerate its own fledgling plant-based protein program — and even nudge other large corporations like Nestlé or Unilever to start their own.
For its part, Impossible Foods was very supportive of Beyond Meat’s time in the limelight. Impossible’s CFO/COO David Lee tweeted out a nice message yesterday aligning their mission with Beyond’s, starting that “Clearly the mass market is ready for us both!”