Plant-based meat company Beyond Meat reported lower-than-expected sales in the first quarter as it slashed prices and demand from restaurants fell.
The El Segundo, California, company said its revenue rose 1.2% to $109.5 million in the January-March period. Wall Street had forecast revenue of $112 million, according to analysts polled by FactSet.
Beyond Meat's shares __ already down 60% from the start of this year __ tumbled 24% in after-hours trading.
Beyond Meat said its U.S. retail sales jumped 6.9% in the quarter, but that was mostly due to the introduction of Beyond Meat Jerky, a meatless jerky developed as part of a snack food partnership with PepsiCo. Beyond Meat said U.S. retail sales of its other products, including burgers and sausages, were lower than the prior year. U.S. food service sales also fell 7.5%.
Beyond Meat’s results came amid signs of plateauing demand for plant-based meat. U.S. sales of meat alternatives were flat in the 52 weeks ending April 30, according to NielsenIQ, a market research firm. In the same period in 2021, they jumped 25%.
Beyond Meat said investments to support new products like the jerky also cut into profits. Beyond Meat reported a net loss of $100.5 million for the quarter, up from a loss of $27.3 million in the same period last year.
The loss, of $1.58 per share, was also far higher than the 97 cent loss analysts forecast.