Beyond Meat to Make Plant-Based Products in China

Beyond Meat aims early next year to go into full-scale production of its products in China.
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Beyond Meat  (BYND) - Get Report said it is building production facilities near Shanghai, which would make it the first foreign plant-based-protein maker to establish a major plant in China.

Work has begun on the project and trial production is expected to begin within months, with full scale production in early 2021, the company said.

The factories will manufacture plant-based-meat products, including beef, pork and chicken.

"China is one of the world's largest markets for animal-based-meat products, and potentially for plant-based meat," Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat's founder and chief executive, said in a statement.

Beyond Meat (Jiaxing) Food Co., a subsidiary, signed an agreement with the Jiaxing Economic and Technological Development Zone to design and develop manufacturing facilities. These include a facility to manufacture plant-based-meat products under the Beyond Meat brand in China.

Beyond Meat has been aggressively expanding its presence in China this year, launching products with major food-and-beverage operators, including Starbucks  (SBUX) - Get Report and KFC  (YUM) - Get Report  (YUMC) - Get Report, in the country, The Wall Street Journal reported.

China is expected to be one of the most important markets in the world for Beyond Meat, the company said, as a production and R&D center and as a major market.

Baird analyst Ben Kallo began coverage of Beyond Meat with an outperform rating and a $160 share-price target.

He modeled "substantial revenue growth over the next several years, driven by increasing distribution (domestically and internationally), increasing velocity per point of distribution, and introduction of new products."

Last month, the plant-based-meat company said it would sell its products directly to consumers through a new e-commerce site.

Shares of the El Segundo, Calif., company at last check were off 1.6% to $123.87.