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A Beyond Meat Customer Becomes a Competitor

Timothy Green, The Motley Fool

Both Kellogg and Hormel announced fake meat products on Wednesday. It was Kroger's (NYSE: KR) turn on Thursday.

The supermarket chain plans to roll out a new collection of plant-based products under its private-label Simple Truth brand, offering yet another plant-based option for consumers. Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND), an imitation meat pioneer, will now have to fend off competing products from one of its customers.

A box of Simple Truth plant-based deli slices.

Image source: Kroger.

Kroger's new plant-based lineup will include meatless burger patties, sausages, deli slices, pasta sauces, sour cream, cream cheese, and a handful of other vegan products. The Simple Truth brand is already big business for Kroger -- annual sales top $2.3 billion. An already well-known brand makes Kroger's new products a potent threat to Beyond Meat and other existing fake meat brands.

Beyond Meat's growth has been impressive, but it was only a matter of time before major food companies launched plant-based products of their own. Kroger's new lineup has more breadth than Beyond Meat's product line, although it remains to be seen whether consumers will prefer Kroger's take on plant-based food.

Kroger's plant-based products will begin arriving in stores this fall, with new products becoming available into 2020. Kellogg is aiming for an early 2020 launch for its own fake meat products, and Hormel's plant-based products are already available in select retail outlets.

As competitors pile into the fake meat and plant-based food market, the exuberance surrounding Beyond Meat stock is looking more irrational with each passing day. The $10 billion company expects to produce revenue of at least $240 million this year, giving it a price-to-sales ratio higher than many fast-growing software companies.

Kroger's new plant-based products represent another crack in the narrative keeping Beyond Meat stock afloat.

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Timothy Green has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

This article was originally published on Fool.com