EL SEGUNDO, CALIF. – Beyond Meat, Inc. continues to bleed red ink as its management team works to identify the products and marketing messages that will resonate and ignite consumer demand for their plant-based meat products. In the year ahead consumers will be hearing much more about the health bona fides of the company’s products.

Over the past three years the company has worked with groups like the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association and the Clean Label Project to ensure their products meet each group’s criteria for endorsement. Beyond Meat’s management team believes marketing messages focused on the nutrition profile of its products will provide a point of differentiation in the market.

Central to the campaign will be the Beyond IV burger, which was reformulated with such ingredients as avocado oil, red lentils, fava beans and others and that has 2 grams of saturated fat and 20% less sodium than conventional ground meat.

“… This product that is now reaching full distribution later this month, has been so well received by the not only medical community, but the nutrition and registered dietitian community, that we have high confidence that it addresses the No. 1 issue in the category,” said Ethan Brown, chief executive officer, during a May 8 conference call to discuss first-quarter results.

“You can trust that this product has the health benefits that you’d expect it to have. And, so, that’s a very different scenario than (the) one we were facing a year ago, when there was just so much negative noise that was being drummed up about the category.”

The pivot to health can’t come soon enough as the company’s financial performance continued to deteriorate during the first quarter of fiscal 2024. During the quarter ended March 30, Beyond Meat incurred a loss of $54.4 million, only slightly better than the previous year when the company recorded a loss of $59 million.

Quarterly sales fell 18% to $75.6 million from $92.2 million the year before.

Contributing to the sales decrease was a 16.1% decrease in the total volume of products sold during the quarter. Specifically, International foodservice volumes fell 25% and US foodservice volumes fell nearly 21% during the quarter.

In US Retail, Beyond Meat’s net sales fell 16% to $37.1 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2024, compared with $44.2 million a year ago. Contributing was a 10.2% decrease in volumes sold that was attributed to demand softness in the category and the discontinuation of the Beyond Jerky product line.

The company’s outlook for fiscal 2024 is for sales to be in a range of $315 million to $345 million. Beyond Meat ended fiscal 2023 with sales of $343.4 million. Management said it expects a variety of factors to impact sales, including macroeconomic uncertainty, weak demand for plant-based meats, high interest rates and concerns about a recession.