Beyond Meat, one of the most popular plant-based meat makers in the world, has announced that it has obtained a US$150 million five-year secured revolving credit facility to finance its global expansion. The announcement followed breaking news last week that Starbucks China will launch Beyond Meat’s products alongside Oatly and Omnipork into its new plant-based menu, and is yet another sign of the industry’s unstoppable growth.
Beyond Meat has recently entered into a US$150 million, five-year secured revolving credit facility through JP Morgan Chase Bank and Silicon Valley Bank. The credit facility includes an accordion feature to extend by an additional US$200 million. In its announcement, the plant-based meat maker said that this will allow for a “greater amount of financial flexibility and better position the Company for long-term success,” alluding to future plans to accelerate its global growth.
The New Credit Facility will mature on April 21, 2025, and replaces Beyond Meat’s existing secured credit arrangements. JP Morgan Chase Bank and Silicon Valley Bank acted as joint lead arrangers in the transaction.
Beyond Meat’s news comes right after it made headlines for its new partnership with Starbucks China alongside other major vegan brands Omnipork and Oatly to launch a new plant-based menu. The new menu is now available across all 3,300 Starbucks locations across China, Asia’s biggest market and the world’s most populous country, as the nation begins to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The launch marked an important milestone for Beyond Meat, which has been vying for market share in China and broader Asia in recent months. Its rival, Impossible Foods, has been keen to capitalise on the Asian plant-based market as well and has launched two new vegan pork products as a part of its strategy.
While the plant-based industry in China and the wider Asian region has experienced steady growth over the past months, particularly due raised health, food safety and supply concerns prompted by the ongoing African swine fever outbreak that wiped out pig populations, the pandemic has further raised the profile of plant-based foods as a solution.
In a recent interview with Green Queen, David Yeung, the founder and CEO of Hong Kong-based Green Monday said he believes the coronavirus has accelerated consumer appetite and awareness about the health, safety and environmental advantages of vegan foods. He added that the overlapping avian flu and the latest Div1 shrimp virus on top of the pandemic and other livestock diseases will stimulate even greater demand.
Indeed, in the United States, the sales of vegan meat jumped by a staggering 280% in the second week of March – in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic – compared to the same period last year. According to consumer data group Nielsen, this trend has lasted, with sales of plant-based meat substitutes continuing to jump 200% in the week ending April 18 compared to the same period last year. While fresh meat saw a jump of 39% over the past 8 weeks as consumers stock up in bulk, average vegan meat sales surged a whopping 265% in the country.
Plant-based meat companies have also fared better in weathering the economic downturn induced by the pandemic. While the broader S&P 500 index saw a 13% drop this year, shares of Beyond Meat have still held on and remained up 17% in the same period.
Lead image courtesy of Beyond Meat.