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Beyond Meat Stock Tumbled Friday After a Report That Taco Bell Canceled a Test

Beyond Meat announced its partnership with Yum! Brands in February.

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Beyond Meat
 stock slipped Friday following a report that said Taco Bell had canceled a planned test of the company’s grilled-meat substitute.

Taco Bell is working with Beyond Meat (ticker: BYND
) to launch a vegan product that would mimic the fast-food chain’s carne asada grilled meat. Bloomberg reported that Taco Bell, owned by Yum! Brands (YUM), canceled a product test after being dissatisfied with the initial samples in October.

A spokesperson for both companies told Barron’s late Friday that the test was not canceled, and that evaluating multiple iterations of a new product before bringing it to market was “commonplace and not out of the ordinary” in the industry. 

“The bottom line is that our partnership with Taco Bell is strong and continuing, and we look forward to further announcements with them,” the spokesperson said.

Shares of Beyond Meat fell 6.9% to $65.20 Friday. The stock has struggled over the past year, dropping nearly 50% as investors appeared to lose their appetite for the plant-based meat substitute.

Beyond Meat announced its partnership with Yum! Brands in February. It also includes the company’s KFC and Pizza Hut chains.

While Wall Street remains generally optimistic about the future of plant-based foods and Beyond Meat’s growth potential, analysts have expressed concerns over the company’s immediate performance. Beyond Meat reported a third-quarter loss of $54.8 million, or 87 cents a share. Wall Street was expecting a loss of $23.4 million, or 38 cents a share.

Analysts have been looking to the performance of Beyond Meat’s partnership with companies such as Yum! Brands and McDonald’s (MCD) to determine their outlooks on the stock.

Write to Sabrina Escobar at [email protected]

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