THE LEX COLUMN: The root ahead for alternative meat
Newfangled products could be a $35bn market
Nothing like a hipster vegetarian to prompt resentment. Two weeks into Beyond Meat’s remarkable run as a public company, the US’s largest meat producer, Tyson Foods, unveiled its own plans for alternative meat. Its Raised and Rooted brand will start by selling, among other things, nuggets composed of pea protein, egg white, flaxseed and bamboo fibre. Yum.
Beyond Meat’s debut has been meteoric — its shares remain nearly six times above its initial public offering price. But that does not make the upstart a Tesla to Tyson’s Ford or General Motors. Traditional meat is doing just fine. Tyson shares are up a third in two years. Tyson’s modest valuation suggests Wall Street remains concerned not just about long-term consumption of traditional proteins, but also more immediate challenges for meat processors...