The rocketing share price of Beyond Meat has grabbed the headlines but it’s only one signal of a growing confidence in the market for plant-based foods and a conviction that many consumers’ tastes are shifting away from animal-based protein.

In trading earlier this week, Beyond Meat stock was at one point 645% higher than its May 1 IPO price of $25 – putting its market capitalisation at more than £11bn, the Financial Times observed; 2019 revenues are projected to be around $210m.

“We believe we are in the early stages of achieving the growth that Beyond Meat is capable of as we remain focused on efforts to increase brand awareness, expand our distribution channels, launch additional innovative products, and invest in our infrastructure and capacity to be able to serve a robust global market for plant-based meats,” said chief executive Ethan Brown.

Last month it announced a partnership with a Dutch company to begin production outside of the US in 2020.

And it is in the Netherlands that another potentially significant development took place yesterday when Vivera Foodgroup – one of Europe’s leading plant-based food makers – announced that, following the sale of its meat company Enkco, it is now focused on a meatless future.

“We are one of the first companies in the world’s meat industry to say final goodbye to meat,” said CEO Willem van Weede. “From now on we only focus on plant-based foods which are really conquering the world.

“More and more consumers are discovering that plant-based products can be just as tasty as real meat and have many benefits for personal health, environmental impact and animal welfare,” he continued, adding that Vivera’s international growth would be boosted by the sale of its meat business.

More signs: last week saw New York hosting the first Plant Based World Conference and Expo, which heard that the number of vegetarians and vegans are growing and that more people are adopting “flexitarian” diets, which reduce the amount of meat and dairy produce consumed.

And as consumer demand grows – analysts at JPMorgan have forecast a $100bn market for plant-based meat in the next 15 years – so new players are entering the market and supermarkets are allocating more space to these products, noted Smart Brief; and the importance of branding and marketing increases – as does the pressure on hitherto niche brands to scale.

Sourced from Financial Times, Vivera, Smart Brief; additional content by WARC staff