US firm Beyond Meat shelves plans to enter Japan, Mitsui says

Photo: Reuters

Beyond Meat Inc has shelved plans to enter Japan, according to a Japan-based investor, focusing more on the U.S. market where it recently bolstered funding to fuel an expansion and beat out emerging faux-meat rivals.

Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co Ltd, which bought a small stake in Beyond Meat in 2016, said it previously planned to partner with the U.S. company to sell plant-based meat alternatives in Japan, but there was no longer such a project.

A Beyond Meat spokeswoman said she could not immediately comment, while a Mitsui spokeswoman declined to give a reason for the change, adding that future expansion in Japan was still possible.

El Segundo, California-based Beyond Meat sells pea-based burgers and sausages at restaurants and in supermarkets, and its shares have surged around 550% since their May IPO on expectations for growing demand for meat alternatives. It has also followed on with a secondary offering, which closed earlier this week.

The company faces competition from Silicon Valley-based Impossible Foods and alternative products from more traditional companies such as Tyson Foods Inc and Perdue Foods. It has also grappled with production capacity issues and interruptions in the supply of pea protein.

Average Japanese consumers generally eat less meat than Americans and their cuisine features items like tofu, but vegan and vegetarian diets are uncommon.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.