Beyond Meat cut losses in the second quarter thanks to lower costs following mass redundancies made in 2022

Beyond Meat shares have taken a hammering following a rapid slowdown in sales and a significant downgrade to annual forecasts, as consumer demand for expensive plant-based meat alternatives wanes.

Revenues at the New York-listed group sank 30.5% to $102.1m (£80.3m) in the second quarter to the end of June, a year-on-year fall of $45m (£35.4m), as volumes declined 24%.

It means annual sales are now expected to total $360m-$380m, compared with previous guidance of $375m-$415m and analyst consensus of $388m (£305m).

Beyond listed softer demand in the plant-based meat category, high inflation, rising interest rates and the cost of living crisis as reasons for its underperformance.

Shares crashed 21% lower to $11.98 as markets reacted to the news, sending the group’s valuation to just $770m (£605m) – half its 2019 IPO value and a long way off the heights of more than $14bn when shares traded at $234 each.

“The second quarter brought mixed results amidst otherwise strong progress toward our goal of sustainable long-term growth,” said Beyond CEO Ethan Brown.

He added that the group expected “a modest return” to top-line growth in the third and fourth quarters, as well as continued cost cutting.

“As we look to the future, we remain steadfast in our belief that plant-based meat, and Beyond Meat specifically, will play an important part of the global response to a climate crisis that appears to be rapidly intensifying, while also delivering health benefits to the individual consumer.”

The group’s domestic US market recorded the biggest falls in sales, down 38.5% in retail and 45.4% in foodservice, with McDonald’s having pulled its Beyond-developed McPlant burger.

Internationally, retail sales dropped 15.6% in the quarter, while foodservice registered a more modest 0.9% decrease as volumes rose 19% thanks to strong sales to large fast food customers in the EU.

Beyond cut losses in the second quarter thanks to lower costs following mass redundancies made in 2022. Net losses fell from $97.1m (£76.3m) a year ago to $53.5m in the three-month period.