Meat alternatives have witnessed a prominent spike in demand over the past few months, owing to the coronavirus pandemic. The factors behind this sudden rise in demand range from the infections across meat plants in the country to consumers looking for a more healthy option for their daily dose of protein. In addition, rising awareness of issues such as animal rights and climate change have urged many meat eaters to switch to plant-based meat.
Vegan Meat Gains Popularity Amid Pandemic, Here’s Why
Demand for meatless meat products rose significantly since the pandemic took roots in the United States, mostly because major meat producers shut down production over fears of contracting the disease after thousands of workers in meat producing plants were infected across 19 states. In fact, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 plant workers, who suffered from coronavirus, died.
Meanwhile, as more American consumers turned to vegan meat alternatives, grocery store sales of such products soared as much as 264% during a nine-week period which ended on May 2, according to data by Nielsen.
The attractiveness of vegan meat rose to new highs in March, with sales of these products rising 206% in the first week of March and 279% in the week ending Mar 14, per Nielsen.
Another reason for this demand is consumers’ faith in meatless meat products, which they believe could be used to avoid infections that could arise from real meat, especially in a pandemic-hit scenario. Consumers doubting the meat industry of taking proper precautions have also turned to meat alternatives over the past few months.
Strong Growth Prospects of Plant-Based Meat Market
According to a report by Technavio, the plant-based meat market is set to reach $3.17 billion in 2024 from 2020 at a compounded annual growth rate of 17%. The report takes into consideration the current risks to one’s health.
Then again, the growing preference for plant-based meat products can also be traced back to rising awareness of animal rights and capping of greenhouse emissions. In addition, the similarity in texture and taste of these products and real meat is also spurring demand.
4 Meatless Meat Stocks to Watch
We have chosen four stocks of companies that offer plant-based meat to its consumers. All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Beyond Meat, Inc. BYND is a prominent provider of plant-based meat alternatives. The company’s products include plant-based sausages, burgers and skewers. Beyond Meat, which went public on May 1, 2019, entered into a partnership earlier this year with Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) to have its products in the coffee chain giant’s locations in China. The companies also have a similar deal to offer the products in Canada.
Beyond Meat has expected earnings growth of more than 100% for the next year. Shares of the company, which belongs to the Zacks Food - Meat Products industry, have gained more than 100% over the past three months compared to the industry’s growth of 21.6% during the same period. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has moved 33.3% north in the past 60 days. The company carries a Zacks Rank #2.
Conagra Brands, Inc. CAG is a provider of plant-based meat alternatives for chicken, beef, pork, seafood and fish. Conagra’s Gardein offers vegan meat options which include chicken wings, tenders, breakfast bowls, skillet meals, nuggets, breakfast sausages and Italian sausage patties. In fact, just last month, Gardein launched a new plant-based burger as well.
Conagra Brands’ expects earnings growth of 5.5% for the next year. Shares of the company, which belongs to the Zacks Food - Miscellaneous industry, have gained 1.1% over the past six months compared to the industry’s decline of 8.4% during the same period. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has moved 0.5% north in the past 30 days. The company carries a Zacks Rank #3.
Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. DNKN launched its own Beyond Sausage Sandwich in 2019, which features a sausage patty made by Beyond Meat.
Dunkin' Brands’ expects earnings growth of 19% for the next year. Shares of the company, which belongs to the Zacks Retail - Restaurants industry, have gained 58.7% over the past three months compared to the industry’s growth of 40.9% during the same period. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has moved 2% north in the past 30 days. The company carries a Zacks Rank #3.
Restaurant Brands International Inc. QSR is the operator of quick service restaurants under the brand names Burger King and Popeyes etc. Burger King has been selling Impossible Foods’ meatless burger throughout the country since August 2019. Per a CNBC report, same-store sales of Burger King jumped 4.8% during third-quarter 2019.
On Jun 15, Burger King said that it added a breakfast sandwich made with the meat-free Impossible Sausage to its menu throughout the country. Shares of the company, which belongs to the Zacks Retail - Restaurants industry, have gained 42.6% over the past three months compared to the industry’s growth of 21.2% during the same period.
Restaurant Brands International’s expects earnings growth of 35.9% for the next year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has moved 2.1% north in the past 30 days. The company carries a Zacks Rank #3.
These Stocks Are Poised to Soar Past the Pandemic
The COVID-19 outbreak has shifted consumer behavior dramatically, and a handful of high-tech companies have stepped up to keep America running. Right now, investors in these companies have a shot at serious profits. For example, Zoom jumped 108.5% in less than 4 months while most other stocks were sinking.
Our research shows that 5 cutting-edge stocks could skyrocket from the exponential increase in demand for “stay at home” technologies. This could be one of the biggest buying opportunities of this decade, especially for those who get in early.
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