[ Question ]

What is the Impact of Beyond Meat?

by Ben_West 1 min read3rd May 20199 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.)

New Answer
Ask Related Question
New Comment

3 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.

This blog post does some calculations and estimates 250,000 animals per year.

They don't share the details, but it sounds like a pretty noisy estimate, e.g.:

We have to make a number of other assumptions as well, for example, we take the word of business analyst, Andrew Charles, who is widely quoted as suggesting Burger King could sell 50 Impossible Whoppers per day, and apply that same figure to all the QSRs in our model