Forget about marijuana. 2019 has been the year of Beyond Meat and the rise of plant-based meat substitutes.
While buying shares of Beyond Meat may be the most obvious way to play the sizzling nascent industry, the price of admission has now become beyond ridiculous. Now that Beyond Meat has entered what appears to be a bust after its big IPO boom, it may be a wiser idea to stick with an indirect play that’ll stand to enjoy the feast of alternative meats without the indigestion that follows.
Consider the following two top plays that’ll profit from continued innovation in the alt-meat space.
Maple Leaf Foods
With the rise of plant-based meat substitutes, you’d think that an “old-school” consumer packaged meats company like Maple Leaf Foods (TSX:MFI) would be in hot water. This hasn’t been the case, though, as Maple Leaf was quick to adapt with the times with an entire division devoted to faux meats.
Back in April, Maple Leaf announced its plan to acquire a 230,000-square-foot Indiana-based processing plant, which, upon completion, should double firm’s meatless meat production capacity. To date, it’s the largest plant of its kind and will help feed the overwhelmingly strong demand for meatless meats, ranging from Beyond Meat sausages to Maple Leaf’s own Lightlife brand of meatless burgers.
While the massive move into meatless meats may cannibalize (pun intended) its meats business, I think that the net effect will be positive over the long haul.
Restaurant Brands International
Restaurant Brands International (TSX:QSR)(NYSE:QSR) has been pounding the table on meatless meats harder than anyone else in the fast-food space of late. The quick-serve restaurant behemoth behind Tim Hortons, Burger King, and Popeyes have welcomed alt-meat players Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat incorporated in new menu items.
Burger King’s Impossible Whopper features Impossible Food’s take on meatless patties, and Tim Hortons has doubled down on Beyond Meat, using its plant-based sausages for its breakfast sandwiches and plant-based burgers for a new line of burgers.
Yes, Tim Hortons now serves Beyond Meat burgers.
And fans of the brand have been gobbling them up, even though Tim Hortons appears to have skated offside with the menu item that you wouldn’t think would be featured at what Canadians deem to be a café and bakeshop.
It’s up for debate as to whether Timmies took it too far with its meatless meats bet by serving up Beyond Meat burgers. But one thing is for sure: people can’t seem to get enough of Beyond Meat products, and although burgers from Tim Hortons sounds strange, I think it’ll be a big boon to the bottom line over time.
Stay hungry. Stay Foolish.
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Fool contributor Joey Frenette owns shares of RESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL INC. The Motley Fool owns shares of RESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL INC and has the following options: short October 2019 $82 calls on RESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL INC.