Not so long ago words like vegetarian were used with a somewhat esoteric tone and seldom in a complimentary fashion, veggies were ‘sorta weirdos’. Not any more, plant-based, vegan and vegetarian are all now uber cool and are all now officially mainstream.
Before we go any further with simply waxing lyrical about plant-based, vegan and vegetarian lets see what the money people think, as money still makes the world go round. Investment is based on making judgements about the future, so, what are the big players in the world of investment banking making of the plant-based, vegan and vegetarian market?
Plant-Based, Vegan and Vegetarian – What the money people think
May 2019 heralded a watershed moment for plant-based investment with Beyond Meat’s IPO (Initial Public Offering).
Prior to the offering Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Credit Suisse all competed aggressively to be appointed as lead underwriters on the deal, with BofA Merrill Lynch, Jefferies and William Blair doing similarly as co-managers. All clearly had confidence in the offering and wanted to headline in this plant-based business going to market. They were right to.
At the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York City on the morning of May 2, 2019 Beyond Meat stock started trading publicly, and after opening at $25, it closed at $65.75, up 163% for the day. That makes it the most successful IPO in 2019 so far, with a valuation of circa $9bn.
Below is US Fox Business News broadcasting as the market closed, May 2, 2019.
Plant-Based, Vegan and Vegetarian – Celebrity and Social Endorsements
Lewis Hamilton. Image by Morio
The influence of celebrity in 2019 is immense with the social media reach of some surpassing global media businesses. Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo for example has 181 million followers on Instagram and 122 million on Facebook, so what Cristiano Ronaldo says goes directly to the 100’s of millions of people across the globe who love him, that’s influence.
When celebrities get behind something and message their social media followers to that effect the impact is colossal.
Lewis Hamilton, the British five-time Formula One World Champion and strict follower of a plant-based diet, is also huge on social media.
Earlier this month he launched a plant-based burger restaurant in London, Neat Burger near Regent’s Street. On the day it opened joining the queue to buy one of his plant-based burgers required patience, the queue stretched back far enough to test the patience of his most ardent fan. His twitter account generated that queue.
Hamilton’s co-investor in the restaurant is Italian entrepreneur, Tommaso Chiabra. Chiabra was also one of the first substantial backers of Beyond Meat, whose burger mix is used by the Neat Burger restaurant.
Plant-Based, Vegan and Vegetarian – Foodservice taking meat off menus
We recently reported on The University of Cambridge removing all beef and lamb from their menus and replacing all carnivorous options with plant-based ones.
It was first implemented in October 2016 and was actioned across 14 foodservice outlets at the University of Cambridge and over 1,500 hospitality events held there each year. Going back to the financial drivers of plant-based, vegan and vegetarian, foodservice profits have increased at the University of Cambridge across the period of implementation.
We report almost every day now on plant-based, vegan and vegetarian news items, and justifying the time to write this article is simple, it’s what people want to read about. The hospitality industry is adjusting and adapting to plant-based, vegan and vegetarian, yesterday’s headline that The Labour Party conference in Brighton featured plant-based, vegan and vegetarian catering saw huge readership. The readership was driven through Google Organic search results, so we also see that people are actively looking for plant-based, vegan and vegetarian content.
Plant-Based, Vegan and Vegetarian – UK Consumer Spending
With the number of UK vegans quadrupling from 150,000 in 2014 to 600,000 in 2018, according to the Vegan Society, and many more people opting to go meat-free a few times a week, food suppliers, food manufacturers, supermarkets and restaurants are all scrambling to cash in on the fast expanding plant-based, vegan and vegetarian market.
Plant-Based, Vegan and Vegetarian – The World
Last and certainly not least climate change. The reality of climate change and its impact on Planet Earth is something everyone will face, whether they choose to or not. The science predicting climate change is irrefutable and across the globe its impact is already being felt.
Agriculture is the second-largest contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions after the energy sector (including transport), producing 11.47% of all emissions.
The majority of agricultural production emissions come from raising livestock through more than 70 billion animals raised annually for human consumption. The biggest single source is methane is from enteric fermentation (farts and burps) in cows. Enteric fermentation is the natural digestive process that occurs in ruminant animals such as cattle, sheep and goats, and it accounts for about 40% of agricultural production emissions.
Public awareness of climate change, its causes and effects is growing by the day. This is perhaps best illustrated through ITV’s News at Ten series ‘Earth on the Edge’ reporting every night currently on climate change.
Reducing eating meat products and following plant-based, vegan and vegetarian diets is now messaged as helping the planet.
Plant-Based, Vegan and Vegetarian, all now mainstream and all now saving the planet
Planet Earth is fragile and to get some perspective on that you can watch Earth From Space LIVE through NASA Live Stream below broadcast in real time from the International Space Station