The new site should be open in the autumn

The new site should be open in the autumn

Meat-free business Beyond Meat plans to shift to a new headquarters in its home state of California.

The maker of the Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage said today (15 January)  it plans to take a 12-year lease on the 300,000 square-foot site in El Segundo. Construction work is expected to be completed this spring. 

It will also serve as a R&D centre once the facility opens for business in the autumn, housing "advanced research labs" to further product development. The company's existing HQ is also located in El Segundo. 

"Our ambitious new campus and truly state-of-the-art research facilities reflect our commitment to providing our consumers, customers and strategic partners with the very best in science, technology, and culinary arts as we together answer the global protein challenge," said Ethan Brown, the company's founder and CEO. 

"The new campus and facilities will house cutting-edge fundamental and applied research, alongside globalised product development teams, all in service to a single goal: creating meat from plants that is indistinguishable from its animal protein equivalent."

Beyond Meat added the "campus will feature future-forward research incubators that will enable the development of new technologies and more innovative products utilising artificial intelligence and machine learning".

Nasdaq-listed Beyond Meat shocked markets in November when it reported a third-quarter loss. In Beyond Meat's third quarter, which ran to 26 September, the company generated net revenues of US$94.4m, up 2.7% on a year earlier. The business booked a loss from operations of $18.5m, against income in the third quarter of its 2019 financial year of $3.6m. A net loss of $19.3m was filed, compared to a profit of $4.1m in the corresponding period a year ago.

Beyond Meat's sales growth was significantly slower than in previous quarters and came in far below the forecasts on Wall Street, where analysts were expecting growth of 44%. Third-quarter gross margins (27%) and adjusted EBITDA (negative $6m) also undershot analyst forecasts, with a number of those following the company rewriting forecasts for some metrics not just for 2020 but for 2021, too.

See just-food's analysis here: Beyond Meat's Q3 prompts plant-based reassessment