What happened

Shares of Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) fell 14.2% in October, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The plant-based meat products maker's shares hit a year-high of $195 before easing back down, but are still around 88% higher year to date.

Plant-based burger sitting on a wooden board

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Beyond Meat reported that its revenue almost doubled from $107.5 million to $210 million for the first six months of this year. However, the company continues to post losses and has been aggressively expanding its presence around the world, resulting in selling, general, and administrative expenses more than doubling. Investors may be concerned that its valuation is getting a little frothy as the company fails to generate a profit and has also consistently reported negative free cash flow.

In early September, Beyond Meat had announced an agreement to begin manufacturing plant-based meat for the Chinese market by setting up a production plant that will commence full-scale production in early 2021. However, its closest competitor, Impossible Foods, is also eyeing the Asian market and has made its beef burgers available in 200 supermarkets in both Hong Kong and Singapore since late October. Rival companies are also muscling in on this lucrative market, with companies such as Green Monday Holdings, a Hong-Kong based plant-based meat producer, planning to open stores in Singapore and mainland China.

Now what

Although Beyond Meat is still registering explosive growth in its top line, investors must be feeling wary of competitors that may begin undercutting the company's prices. Also, large food manufacturers such as Tyson Foods have the resources and money to devote considerable research on plant-based meat to challenge Beyond Meat's dominance.

There's also another threat on the horizon: cell-based meat, which is being grown by companies such as Memphis Meat. The company offers real meat cultivated from actual animal cells that eliminates the need for rearing animals on farms. This also appeases animal activists who are against the slaughter of animals for meat. This alternative may offer more of the real deal compared to plant-based meat and has the potential to take market share away from Beyond Meat if it gets more popular.

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