What happened 

Shares of Beyond Meat (BYND -0.91%) climbed 5.3% on Thursday after the meat alternatives company launched a new e-commerce site. 

So what

Beyond Meat's new online store will allow its U.S.-based customers to order the company's plant-based food -- including bulk packages, mixed product bundles, and trial packs -- and have it delivered to their doorstep within two days.

Beyond Meat's new direct-to-consumer shipping box.

Image source: Beyond Meat.

Beyond Meat noted that its shipping boxes are able to be recycled and will be sent via UPS carbon neutral shipping, which offsets its emissions by funding landfill gas capture projects. This will likely resonate with Beyond Meat's customers, who tend to be more environmentally conscious than the average consumer.

Now what

Beyond Meat has spent most of its young life as a public company expanding its traditional retail distribution network. Its products can now be found in 26,000 stores across the U.S., and its partners include industry giants Walmart, Costco, Target, Kroger, and Whole Foods, among others.

Yet the move into e-commerce is wise. Grocery sales -- like much of the rest of the retail market -- is shifting online. Beyond Meat knows this, and it's attempting to meet its customers where they want to shop.

Moreover, many people are currently avoiding shopping in stores due to coronavirus-related fears. They'll no doubt appreciate the option to order online, and the resulting sales could be a powerful growth driver for Beyond Meat during the COVID-19 crisis.