This article comes from “citizens.news”
Companies behind lab-cultured meat are now collapsing due to lower sales, mainly driven by a strong backlash against wokeism linked to the product.
A Feb. 1, 2023 op-ed by the Raw Egg Nationalist (REN) elaborated on the downsizing. He zeroed in on the issues of two fake meat companies – Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat – in his article.
Impossible Foods recently laid off 20 percent of its workforce, the third such wave of firings at the Redwood City, California-based company.
Bloomberg first broke the news of the layoffs, citing an unnamed source. According to the business news outlet, around 140 of the company’s 700 staff are set to be given the ax.
In spite of this, Impossible Foods claimed it is simply streamlining its business so it can continue to “hyper-grow.” But a number of key executives have left the company over the past year, and former CEO Pat Brown is on leave the spring. The company’s reins are now in the hands of incumbent Impossible Foods CEO Peter McGuinness, who is focusing on debunking the public’s negative perceptions of the fake meat company.
Similar to Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat was forced to slash its workforce by almost 20 percent – affecting 200 employees. The layoffs came amid shares of the El Segundo, California-based company plunging by 75 percent in the first three quarters of 2022.
The fake meat company was also embroiled in a food safety scandal. In November 2022, a whistleblower at a Beyond Meat plant in Pennsylvania revealed photos of mold in and around food production and storage equipment. The whistleblower also presented documents that showed Beyond Meat products testing positive for the foodborne pathogen Listeria at least 11 times over the previous year.
Beyond Meat’s former COO Doug Ramsay was arrested in September after allegedly biting another man’s nose in a parking lot after a football game. He was immediately suspended following the incident, and left the company in early October 2022.
Backlash against wokeism contributing to downfall of fake meat
Back in September 2022, Bloomberg Businessweek ran a cover story about the dwindling fortunes of the artificial meat industry.
“Just a few years ago … plant-based meats were ascendant. Now, after once enjoying double-digit growth, sales in the plant-based meat category are not just flat but declining,” the article stated.
According to the piece, industry experts have blamed a number of factors. One is the growing food inflation that has driven customers back to real meat that is cheaper than the product made to replace it. Public perception about fake meat is another, with the outlet citing two polls to back this up.
A May 2021 survey of 1,000 Australian men by the pro-fake meat nonprofit No Meat May found that over 70 percent of respondents preferred to die 10 years earlier than give up meat. More than a year later, a July 2022 survey by business consultancy firm Deloitte revealed a decline in the belief that plant-based meats are healthier and more ethical than the real thing.
The business news outlet also mentioned that backlash against fake meat’s links to progressive leftism also contributed to its decline.
In one instance, Cracker Barrel announced plans to include Impossible Foods’ sausage to its menu – a move quickly rebuked on social media. Fast food giant McDonalds also dropped its McPlant burger made in collaboration with Beyond Meat due to low sales.
Visit FakeMeat.news for more stories about companies making lab-grown meat.
Watch this video about the woes of the fake meat industry.