What happened

Shares of Beyond Meat (BYND -3.91%) plunged by 22.1% in July, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The plant-based meat specialist stock has fallen 36% from its January-high of $192 and is now down 2.3% year to date.

Plant-based meat burger sitting in a plate

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Investors are turning cautious on the foodservice sector as a resurgence in COVID-19 cases threatens to send major economies back into lockdown. The Delta variant of the virus is spreading around the world, resulting in more uncertainty for food and beverage retailers.

Beyond Meat had recently also announced the launch of its new plant-based chicken tenders at numerous restaurants across the United States. The anticipated disruption to supply chains could affect the distribution of this new product, while movement controls could crimp demand for consumer spending and cause people to spend less on higher-priced food items such as plant-based meat. Furthermore, should another extended closure loom for restaurant and fast-food chains, it will adversely affect the company's lucrative foodservice division.

Now what

Beyond Meat announced in its second-quarter results that net revenue rose 31.8% year over year to $149.4 million, driven by strong international sales numbers. However, net loss widened from $10.2 million to $19.7 million as research and development expenses more than doubled year over year. 

Investors are probably worried that the company's growth momentum may slow in the coming months because of the pandemic, but this should just be a temporary stumbling block for the company, as plant-based meat products remain popular. With more people turning to alternative, heathier foods, Beyond Meat should see growth return again once the troubles have passed.