Beyond Meat has been a leader in plant-based proteins since vegan meats first hit the market, but its sales in the second quarter of 2023 don’t look so healthy.

As the Associated Press reports, the company saw its revenues plunge by 30.5% in the latest quarter. Beyond Meat had to adjust its revenue forecast for 2023 to between $360 million and $380 million, compared to its earlier prediction of $375 million to $415 million.

Beyond Meat President and CEO Ethan Brown said the second quarter of 2023 looks weak compared to the same quarter last year when restaurants were bouncing back from the pandemic and placing large orders.

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But that’s not the only problem, according to the AP. Brown told investors that new customers also perceive Beyond Meat’s plant-based products—which include vegan Italian sausage and sausage crumbles that appear on many pizzerias’ menus—as unhealthy and overly processed. In response, the company has launched a new campaign to tout its “clean and simple” manufacturing process and health credentials.

“It is an education issue,” Brown said, per the AP. “The facts are there. The health benefits of our products are very strong.” He added that he expects to see modest growth in revenue for the remainder of 2023.

As Business Insider has reported, plant-based meats have come under attack in recent years by the Center for Consumer Freedom, which has ties to the meat industry. That organization has charged that these products are “ultra-processed” and pose health risks.

In September 2022, Deloitte reported that, while plant-based foods in general were still “hot,” plant-based alternative (PBA) meats were experiencing “stagnant” growth. “Dramatically improved taste in recent years (vouched for by seven in 10 consumers) unlocked new interest in PBA meat,” Deloitte stated. “But the portion of the U.S. population open to trying (and repeat buying) it may already have reached a saturation point.”

Related: What are vegan pizza customers looking for?

Food & Ingredients