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Posturing for a China trade deal. I buy shares in Beyond Meat. Here’s why.

Hold your nose and suffer through the weird machinations of the China Trade deal negotiations. This deal will happen. No one wants the new threatened tariffs — especially American consumers who will pay them (not the Chinese). But posturing is posturing.

This was the last two days of the S&P 500.

When it opened way down — stocks were now on sale — I covered my Boeing short (at a small profit) and then bought some more Apple and some more Microsoft. I also bought 500 shares of Beyond Meat. It was up by the close. Keep reading for why.

All about plant based diets

I had some for lunch. They’re delicious. — Mark Ludwig

Last night I tried “Beyond Meat”. Amazingly good. — Al Moran

There you have it. I’m “overwhelmed” with reader ecstasy about the newest sensation — meatless hamburgers, made from plants.

Check this chart out. First, know that Beyond Meat (BYND) went public at $25. Last night it closed at $74.56. It’s clearly the hottest IPO in eons.

Wrote Seeking Alpha:

Beyond Meat was founded in 2009 with the goal of developing plant-based products that would, in the words of its S-1, “look, cook, and taste” like meat. The company uses pea proteins that are processed, woven, and combined with various flavorings to produce a variety of meat substitutes.

While BYND produces a variety of products, it is best known for the Beyond Burger, which is sold in ~15,000 grocery stores and ~12,000 restaurants, including Carl’s Jr., TGI Fridays, and BurgerFi. Overall, BYND earns 58% of its revenue from grocery stores and other retail channels and 42% from restaurant and foodservice customers.

As far as I can see, Beyond Meat can’t keep up with demand. Ultimately plant-based burgers will be larger than cannabis. That’s my prediction.

My logic for buying an overpriced IPO is that I believe Beyond Meat is at the forefront of the most important consumer revolution since Apple introduced the iPhone.

Simply, Americans are increasingly aware that meat is bad for them. And if someone can make a burger from plants that tastes as good as a meat burger they’ll go it — bigtime.

The two quotes above are from classmates of mine from business school 50 years ago. Hence they’re both over 70 and not normally people who evince enthusiasm for new stuff. They’ve seen it all. But here they are pumping for plant-based burgers.

How do I feel about the taste. Well I live in New York City. And I can’t find any here, despite googling, despite online checking and despite brick and mortar shopping. I’ll keep looking for this:

I’ve watched the two documentaries I’ve mentioned in the past couple of days. And I’m now reading

Some readers have pushed back saying the documentary What The Health is over the top, making outrageous claims like eating meat is as bad for you as smoking.

Fact is the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that if we did more physical activity, stopped smoking, cut our alcohol intake, and avoided dangerous sun exposure — as well as improved our diet — we’d prevent 20 to 40 percent of the deaths from the five leading causes (heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, and unintentional injuries).

The vast majority of Americans don’t eat nearly enough fruits and vegetables, and way too much of just about everything else. Our food landscape also pushes us away from healthy options and in the direction of overindulging in processed junk — which is, ironically, cheaper than real food.

69% of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese, with more than 78 million adult Americans considered obese.

There you have it.

You can question these statistics as much as you want. Fact is it’s impossible to do a control study on one million Americans eating meat hamburgers for 20 years and one million Americans eating plant-based ones for 20 years and see who dies earlier and why. There are way too many other factors getting in the way — like where you live and what type of jeans (genes?) you have.

I believe more and more Americans will embrace plant-based diets and plant-based burgers — especially now that plant burgers taste so good. This is not a risky operation, or a heady life-style change that we resist — like going to the boring gym. This is simply eating something that’s good for us.

You can read my two previous columns here and here. You can read the long Seeking Alpha piece on Beyond Meat here. 

Your iPhone and email

Your iPhone’s email does poorly with large attachments — photos and videos. Often it won’t receive them and won’t even tell you there were attachments in that latest email.

There are three solutions — open emails on your laptop (my preferred solution), ask your people to send attachments no bigger than 5 megs to your iPhone, or embed photos in the email (i.e. not as an attachment). If someone knows a better solution, please let me know.

Harry Newton, who found another burger company. From its web site:

Hi. We’re Impossible Foods, and we make meat, dairy and fish directly from plants. Founded in 2011, our mission is to make the global food system truly sustainable by eliminating the need to make food from animals. Why? Animal agriculture uses a tremendous amount of the world’s natural resources: it’s responsible for 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, consumes 25% of the world’s fresh water, and occupies nearly half of the world’s land. But we knew that facts wouldn’t feed cravings. So in 2016, we launched our first product, the Impossible Burger: meat made from plants, for people who love to eat meat. Delicious, nutritious, and made using but a small fraction of the land, water and energy used to make meat from a cow.

Here’s a photo from their web site:

Impossible is not public. My advice: Get your kid to form one of these plant-based burger companies. It won’t be as profitable as a cloud-based software company but it will be a business your kid can get his/her teeth into. (Sorry about that.)

  • Mike Nash

    Harry, you keep saying buy the dip and yet the market keeps falling. REaders who listened to you would be down quite a bit this week. When will it get better? Also, Beyond Meat burgers are not healthy. They have 5 grams of saturated fat per burger. There are much better options out there. I’ve been eating a plant based diet for 20 years and my cholesterol is 50% lower. It can take a while to see results but stick with a plant-based diet.