Beyond Meat announces layoffs after lower Q2 sales

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Plant-based meat producer Beyond Meat said Thursday it was laying off 4% of its workforce after a difficult second quarter in which price-conscious customers bypassed its more expensive products.

El Segundo, California-based Beyond Meat said sales fell 1.6% to $147 million. That was less than Wall Street’s forecast of $149 million, according to analysts polled by FactSet. The company reported a net loss of $97 million, or $1.53 per share, which was also greater than analysts had expected.

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Beyond Meat President and CEO Ethan Brown said customers faced with food price inflation were trading in cheaper store brands of plant-based or animal-based meats. Brown said the results added to the importance of the company’s long-term goal of achieving price parity with animal-based meats.

Brown said Beyond Meat’s ground beef currently costs $8.35 a pound. That compares to an average of $4.90 per pound for animal-based ground beef, he said.

“In a sort of unfortunate way, it’s reinforcing our strategy and driving us and challenging us to try and get the costs out of our system as quickly as possible,” Brown said in a conference call with investors Thursday.

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US retail sales were up 2.2% thanks to the sale of Beyond Meat Jerky, a new product introduced as part of a partnership with PepsiCo. But other products, including plant-based burgers and chicken, saw lower sales.

Beyond Meat did not provide an update on its partnership with McDonald’s, which recently ended a US trial of the McPlant, a burger it developed in partnership with Beyond Meat. McDonald’s has not confirmed its future plans for the US citizen either

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Beyond Meat did not immediately say how many employees would leave the company. According to the annual report, at the end of 2021, 1,419 people were employed by __, including 311 full-time contract workers __.

The company’s shares were flat in aftermarket trading Thursday.

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