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Beyond Meat founder: focused on long-term relationships

Brian Sozzi

Wall Street (we are mostly looking at you, Bernstein team) says Beyond Meat’s new test with McDonald’s in Canada has gone just okay. The guy who helped create the very plant-based beef in between the McDonald’s infamous sesame-seed buns and gets the sales numbers real time thinks that assessment is off the mark.

“Everything I am seeing, I feel very optimistic about the long-term relationship with McDonald’s. “If we are successful in this test — which everything is pointing in that direction — we should see a national expansion. But that’s up to them, not me,” Beyond Meat (BYND) founder and CEO Ethan Brown said on Yahoo Finance’s “The First Trade.”

McDonald’s (MCDbegan testing a new plant-based burger from Beyond Meat in 28 restaurants in southwestern Ontario on Sept. 30. The burger’s clever name: the P.L.T. (plant, lettuce and tomato).

Investors have long expected a tie-up for the two companies, which could bring a good bit of sales to both outfits.

Remember, Beyond Meat counts former McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson as a board member. Meanwhile, consumer interest in plant-based foods continues to surge (see Burger King’s strong third quarter on the back of the plant-based Impossible Foods Whopper) — so it’s bizarre it has taken McDonald’s so long to launch a test with Beyond Meat.

While Beyond Meat inches closer to a larger rollout in the U.S. with the Golden Arches (though as of now bother Beyond and McDonald’s are tight-lipped about a rollout in the States), its latest fast-food wins with the likes of Dunkin’ Brands and KFC should help power its results into 2020. Those deals did just that in the third quarter.

Beyond Meat surprised many on Monday by turning its first-ever quarterly profit. The company earned 6 cents a share versus a year earlier loss of $1.45 a share. Analysts expected 3 cents a share. Total sales surged 250% to $92 million, ahead of forecasts for $83 million.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi

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