Shares of plant-based meat company Beyond Meat (BYND -3.04%) were pulling back this week after a key survey showed consumers might be losing interest in the company's products.
As a result, the stock was down 11% as of Thursday's close.
Piper Sandler's (NYSE: PIPR) semiannual Taking Stock With Teens Survey is closely watched as an indicator of the next generation of consumers.
While you might think that plant-based meat would be gaining an audience with teenagers, especially due to its association with better environmental practices, that doesn't seem to be the case. According to the survey's results, only 43% of teens are willing to eat plant-based meat, down from 47% last fall and 49% a year ago. And Beyond lagged behind rival Impossible Foods as teens' first choice in the category, with 31% mentioning Beyond as a preferred brand compared to 40% for Impossible Foods.
Following the survey release, Piper Sandler reiterated an underweight rating on the stock and a price target of $29.
Separately, Beyond Meat announced on Thursday that its products would soon be available at 2,000 Rite Aid stores, though that might be an odd placement as a pharmacy chain isn't where people typically shop for such products.
As just one data point, the survey might not seem so concerning, but it's the latest piece of evidence to show that interest in plant-based meat products could have already peaked. The industry attracted a lot of attention when it first launched meat-alternative products like the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger, but recent results have been underwhelming. In fact, revenue actually declined slightly in Beyond's most recent quarter, and the company is still significantly unprofitable.
Given the declining growth rate and the wide losses, it's hard to justify betting on Beyond Meat at a time when even the youngest consumers seem to be losing interest in the product.