The biggest problem for plant-based meat companies might be the very thing that defines them. For years, they’ve worked to create products that look, feel, and taste just like conventional meat—but now that they’re finding success in the market, they stare down the very real possibility they won’t be able to use the word “meat” on their product packaging at all. It’s something Los Angeles-based food company Beyond Meat is thinking about as it goes public.

“We may be required to modify our marketing strategy, and our business, prospects, results of operations or financial condition could be adversely affected.” The company may even have to change its name.

Patrick Brown, the CEO of Impossible Foods, makes the case that meat is less about how the product is produced and more about the experiences people have when eating it (its taste, texture, etc.).

Unfortunately, we know the meat industry has problems with this point of view. This is compounded by the higher costs that these companies face. In time however, scale and technological improvements will bring down the price, where it can pose a truer threat to the existing industry. Moreover, as environmental concerns grip the world, demand is predicted to spike. For example, the Beyond Burger requires 90% less methane and 99% less water.

The market seems to see the future potential however, as the stock IPO’d on 2nd May, enjoying a 160% pop on the opening day. With investment into meat substitutes, alternatives and replacements at an all time high, enjoy those beef paddy’s whilst they last!

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