Ethan Brown has big goals. The CEO of vegetarian meat-substitute company Beyond Meat, Brown took his company public in May this year. His plan to grow the company into a $40 billion giant is under way, and he’s not concerned by stumbles like this week’s 19% drop in share price.
The drop came after the expiration of the “lockup” of initial stock sales. In other words, this is the first weekend many Beyond shareholders could sell their shares, and they have been. Despite the drop, Beyond’s stock is still up more than 230% over its original offering.
Brown, who hasn’t sold a single one of his shares, isn’t interest in what he views as a small fluctuation in the market. When asked in an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box, he said he’s working on growing his business “organically.”
“People have asked me,” he said, “‘Do you want to do a partnership with a larger company?’ I have no interest in that. I want to be that larger company.”
$40 billion is still a long way away, but Beyond Meat still reported a healthy revenue of over $87 million in 2018. Its market value is just under $12 billion. Very impressive for a vegan food startup. Beyond Meat makes its product with mostly pea protein, and textures it to replicate beef, chicken, and pork. Throughout 2019, the company has been rolling out its product in more grocery chains and on restaurant menus. Famous kitchen personalities like Alton Brown (no relation) have advocated for the product.
Ethan Brown’s not worried about his growing number of competitors, either. Not even the popular Impossible Meat, which began selling in grocery stores in September and has cornered a few major restaurant chains such as Red Robin, White Castle, and Burger King. Beyond has McDonald’s locked down, after all, as well as Subway and KFC.
“When you look at McDonald’s, Subway, or Dunkin’, or KFC, those are the largest names in food, and we’re partnering with them to bring our products to the consumer,” Brown said.
Beyond Meat reported its first quarterly profit since its IPO, a result announced after the closing bell on Monday afternoon. Revenue in the third quarter was also higher than expected.
“My focus is entirely on growing this business,” Brown concluded.
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