What happened

September was a volatile month for investors in Beyond Meat (BYND -2.97%). The stock trailed the market by shedding 11% compared to a 2% increase in the S&P 500, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Yet the drop only took a small bite out of recent shareholder gains, as the stock is still up more than 100% since its May IPO.

A man takes a bite of a burger.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Beyond Meat executives presented at an investor conference in early September, where they outlined what they saw as a huge global market opportunity around plant-based meat. Yet the stock was more heavily influenced by potential negative developments in its current market position. Beyond Meat products reportedly are falling off of menus at the Tim Hortons fast-food chain, owned by Restaurant Brands. New rivals are also coming onto the alternative-meat niche, which raises questions about the defensibility of Beyond Meat's industry status.

Now what

Beyond Meat's growth potential will depend on its ability to innovate new products to keep its current restaurant partners happy while expanding its base to new fast-food chains. That's why investors can expect continued volatility in the share price with each new development that threatens -- or bolsters -- that outlook.