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Is meatless meat becoming a ‘cult’ market?

Michael Van Schoik

The meatless meat craze continues to sweep across the country, developing into a cult-like following, according to Gregg Smith, an early investor in Beyond Meat.

“I think it’s taken everybody by surprise that this has become really a cult stock,” he told FOX Business’ Ashley Webster on Friday.

Beyond Meat is a California-based producer of plant-based meat products.

The company has teamed up with the meal kit company Blue Apron Holdings and, according to Smith, who is the CEO of Evolution VC Partners, the two companies and their customers have proven that meatless meat is not a fad.

“We continue to see more and more empirical evidence coming not only from Beyond Meat, which will hopefully be reflected in their results, but from their customers,” he said. “You saw Tim Hortons introduce breakfast sausages in the last few months and then just this week they said they’re expanding from breakfast sausages to a burger, to the lunch part.”

Smith said he thinks other companies, including Starbucks, McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts, will get pulled into the market as well. He also said he thinks Tyson will likely join the movement “probably very soon” as well.

“I think we could see millions of animals within their herd rejoice with joy as they hopefully get into plant-based meat, and maybe their lives will be prolonged,” he joked.

With the growing interest in this trending product likely comes competition, Smith noted. He said he expects competitor Impossible Foods to go public within the next six months.

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“That’s going to broaden the market, that’s going to create more awareness,” he said. “Beef is a $1.4 trillion industry. If you make the comparison to what’s happened to dairy with plant-based dairy foods, who have now garnered some 14 percent of the market. If you take 14 percent of $1.4 trillion it’s a massive market if you believe that the plant-based beef will get there.”

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