Beyond Meat cuts jobs, revenue expectation as plant-based boom fizzles out

(Reuters) -Beyond Meat Inc lowered its forecast for 2022 revenue on Thursday and said it would cut several jobs at a time when demand for its plant-based products is fizzling out in the United States.

Analysts have said alternative meat makers should improve their products’ taste to attract consumers as a few restaurants including McDonald’s Corp have ended U.S. tests of their plant-based menu items without confirming a broader launch.

“We recognize progress is taking longer than we expected,” Beyond Meat Chief Executive Officer Ethan Brown said in a statement. He also said consumers “traded down among proteins” at a time when inflation squeezes spending power.

Beyond Meat forecast 2022 revenue between $470 million and $520 million. It had previously projected $560 million to $620 million.

Brown also said Beyond Meat would aim to cut costs, including in manufacturing, as net loss for the second quarter ended July 2 widened to $97.1 million, or $1.53 per share, from $19.7 million, or 31 cents, a year earlier.

The loss also came in bigger than expectations of $1.18 as it spent heavily to launch its plant-based jerky.

Net revenue was $147 million for the second quarter, compared with $149.4 million a year earlier. Analysts polled by Refinitiv on average had expected $149.2 million.

Beyond Meat also said it would cut roughly 4% of its global workforce to record nearly $8 million in annualized savings.

As of Dec. 31, Beyond Meat had 1,108 full-time employees and 311 full-time contract workers.

(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)