Beyond Meat partners with McDonald’s and KFC owner Yum! Brands but losses mount

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Beyond Meat Inc (NASDAQ:BYND) announced new partnerships with major food outlets but said losses widened due to the cost of expanding operations.


The faux burgers producer signed a three-year global strategic agreement with McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) to become the main supplier for the patty in the McPlant, a new plant-based burger, and the pair will explore co-developing other plant-based menu items.


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It also secured a deal with Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM), owner of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, to supply more meat-alternatives across its brands.


The California-based firm did not disclose financial details of either agreement.


In the year to December 31, revenues surged 37% to US$406mln but loss before tax swelled 76% to US$52mln.


Cash at year-end was US$159mln with debt of US$25mln, while the firm did not release guidance for the new year because of volatility in consumer demand patterns across retail and foodservice channels.


Weakened foodservice demand has hit short-term profit, President and chief executive Ethan Brown said in a release, but the company has pressed forward in investment in production facilities in China and Europe, marketing, research and developments and increasing headcount.


He said the plan is to continue to “invest aggressively in 2021”.


“I truly believe that plant-based meat has reached a tipping point in terms of its cultural relevance and, critically, the fundamentals underpinning Beyond Meat’s long-term prospects remain robust, with important brand metrics such as household penetration, buyer rates, purchase frequency and repeat rates all registering another quarter of uninterrupted growth,” he commented.


Shares dropped 5% to US$143.75 in after-hours trading.

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