[ Question ]

What is the Impact of Beyond Meat?

by Ben_West 6mo3rd May 20191 min read8 comments


Now that BM is public, I assume we can relatively easily get answers to information about quantities sold. I would be interested in seeing a Fermi estimate of suffering-days they have averted or something similar. (A simple model is something like: quantity sold times fraction of customers that would have purchased the corresponding animal product times days of suffering per animal product.)

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2 Answers

Interesting question.

Ever so rough fermi: Beyond's revenue was around $100 million - they sell their products at $1 and save an animal for every 100 products sold, then they save 1 million animals a year. Increasing their revenue by 1% through a grant or unpaid internship would save 10k animals.

But if the market is efficient, the counterfactual impact of for-profit clean meat companies is converging towards zero.

More basic clean meat R&D might be more undersupplied by the market.

According to their S-1, in 2018 they sold a total of 11.8M pounds of their "fresh" products. A large majority of this was the Beyond Burger.

Given that 93% of retail consumers that purchased the Beyond Burger also purchased animal meat, I think we can assume a pretty high rate of counterfactual replacement of beef - let's say 75%.

That's a total of 8.9M pounds of beef displaced. Assuming a cow yields 490 pounds of beef, that's around 18 thousand cows spared in 2018. This is impressive!

However, I agree with zdgroff in that the majority of the impact of Beyond Meat is the expected future impact when they focus more on chicken, and in legitimizing the plant-based meat industry.