Beyond Meat’s Pending IPO Could Be Valued at $1.2 Billion

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“Beyond Meat Inc., the maker of vegan chicken and beef substitutes backed by some of the biggest names in food and technology, is seeking to raise as much as $184 million in its initial public offering.

The company plans to sell 8.75 million shares for $19 to $21 each, according to a filing Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. A listing at the top of that range would give the company a market value of about $1.2 billion based on the shares to be outstanding after the offer, according to its filing.

The company is one of several makers of plant-based meat substitutes or lab-grown meats that have attracted high-profile backers. Its investors include Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and actor Leonardo Dicaprio, as well as former McDonald’s Corp. chief executive officer Don Thompson. Beyond Meat’s biggest stakeholders are venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers LLC, which owns 16 percent of the company, and Twitter Inc. co-founder Ev William’s Obvious Ventures with 9 percent, according to its filings.

Tyson Foods Inc., the largest U.S. meat producer, is accelerating development of its own alternative-protein products and is also a backer of Beyond Meat. Tyson has invested in Jerusalem-based Future Meat Technologies and, along with Gates, Richard Branson and Cargill Inc., is an investor in Memphis Meats, a cultured meat producer.”

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Hass Avocado Board reports strong US sales growth

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“The Hass Avocado Board reported that retail avocado sales for the month ending Sept. 9 grew 8.6% compared with year-ago levels. That was more than double the gain of total produce sales, which were up 3.7% for the period compared with year-ago levels, according to a news release.

The board said the Northeast topped the regional rankings in dollar growth rate at 16.2% higher than the same period a year ago. The Northeast was boosted by the three fastest growing markets: Pittsburgh (+42.6%), Albany (+36.2%), and Northern New England (+26.6%). The board said Northeast dollar growth was driven by a significant gain in volume (+42.7%), despite a decline in average selling prices(-18.6%).”

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Green Giant Debuts Riced Cauliflower Stuffing

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“Thanksgiving will always be a day of over-eating, but there are ways to make your meal a smidge healthier and still enjoy all the holiday favorites. Our kitchen team has come up with plenty of paleo, keto, and vegan-friendly Thanksgiving recipes, if you follow one of those particular diets. And now, Green Giant is throwing low-carb eaters a bone with their new Riced Cauliflower Stuffing.”

“Green Giant confirmed the new, healthy side will be coming to select retailers in November, and will roll out nationwide in January. According to the brand, it is “an ideal way to cut carbs and reduce calories by 45 percent.” Best of all, it can be cooked in just eight minutes, making meal prep ridiculously easy.”

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Meatless Moo-vement; Impossible Foods Readies Burger Launch

Over the past four years, a small, well-funded startup has been developing a new burger just a few miles from Stanford University.  It’s not meat, and it’s not just a veggie burger.  What Impossible Foods is trying to do is create a meat replacement that looks, tastes, feels, and cooks like regular ground beef.

Like most other Silicon Valley startups, Impossible Foods is looking to disrupt an existing industry.  For the founder, Patrick Brown, that is the inefficient, international meat supply, which relies on a huge carbon footprint to maintain.  Industrial animal farming uses a third of the planet’s land, destroys millions of trees per year, and consumes a third of the global water supply.  “We’re getting into this very scarily unstable area where we’ve never gone before in terms of pushing the boundaries of a stable planetary system,” Brown says. “We’re driving toward the cliff with our foot on the accelerator—and nobody was working on this as a solvable problem.”

Brown is working on this problem by approaching the “veggie burger” from a different angle: less quinoa and beets and more “proteins, fats, amino acids and vitamins derived from wheat, the roots of soybean plants, coconuts, potatoes and other plant sources.”

And now the chefs are talking.  Tracy Des Jardin, chef-owner of Jarindiere in San Francisco, will be the first to put the product on her menu, and she’s excited.  “I equate this to when grass-fed beef first hit the market. Initially consumers were skeptical, but now some prefer it.”  Later this summer, select New York restaurants will launch the burger, as well.  We will keep you posted when it comes to town!

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Chipotle to Add Tofu “Sofritas” to Permanent Menu

After a successful test run for Chipotle’s vegan protein option, tofu sofritas, in the West Coast last year, the soybean-based staple will be making its way to Chipotle’s permanent menu in New York and Boston locations beginning March 3, announces Grub Street. Chipotle describes sofritas as “organic shredded tofu braised with chipotle chilies, roasted poblano peppers, and a blend of aromatic spices. Hodo Soy Beanery in Oakland supplies Chipotle with GMO-free tofu.

Organic Avenue to Open Vegan Grab-and-Go Concept

In an attempt to surpass the competition, Organic Avenue is launching a vegan grab-and-go concept, slated for a spring opening. The vegan-raw-organic chain will introduce a variety of breakfast and lunch options to make it easier for New Yorkers to include healthy meal options throughout their day. “Our goal is to become the definitive destination for organic breakfast, lunch and cold-pressed juices, which gives us endless possibilities for expansion in key metropolitan markets around the country,” explained Martin Bates, Organic Avenue’s CEO and former chief executive of Pret A Manger. According to the New York Post, “the 10-store chain is also set to launch six stores this year, beginning in February with a 1300 square foot space at 640 Broadway in the East Village. Similarly sized locations at 5 Bryant Park, and 254 Park Ave. South will follow in April.”

Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Upcoming Ventures

Rumor has it that Chef Jean Georges will release a line of prepared food, including jams, under the ABC brand. That’s not all the restaurant magnate has in store— he plans to open a raw and vegan restaurant in the spring.