In a further sign that vegan diets are moving into the mainstream and an endorsement of Beyond Meat’s plant-based food products, the company has formed a joint venture with US soft drinks maker PepsiCo.

The partnership will develop plant-based snacks and beverages – although details are fairly hazy at this point with no financial details revealed in today’s statement.

The news sent shares in Beyond Meat soaring at the US market open, up more than 30% to $207.16. PepsiCo was more or less unchanged at $140.42.

California-based Beyond Meat has a portfolio of products which include Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage alongside other meat substitutes, sold in the US, Europe and Asia.

Teaming up with PepsiCo should provide access to the larger company’s distribution channels, marketing heft and existing footprint with on and off-trade sellers.

Beyond Meat joined the market to some fanfare in May 2019 and has made strong gains on its $25 per share IPO price.

Investors have broadly warmed to the company, despite a patchy financial performance, as they look to the potential created by a growing appetite for vegan food due to ethical, environmental and health considerations.

In its most recent set of quarterly results, released in November, it posted a net loss of $19.3 million. Fourth quarter earnings are likely to be out in late February when the company may be expected to flesh out some details on the Pepsi tie-up.

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Issue Date: 26 Jan 2021