Beyond Meat Decreasing Marketing Budget For 2024 As It Introduces Reformulated Burger

Beleaguered plant-based meat company Beyond Meat will be decreasing its marketing spending in 2024, as it pivots to a “grassroots” approach to promoting its reformulated Beyond IV product.

The different strategy was unveiled during an investors call this week, as the company reported its Q4 earnings and net revenue losses of 7.8% YOY, the latest in a string of successive quarterly losses.

This follows on the heels of the company announcing the fourth iteration of its “core beef platform,” with reformulated versions of its Beyond Burger and Beyond Beef products that founder and CEO Ethan Brown called “a transformative step forward,” promising better taste and nutritional benefits; he cited a switch to avocado oil in the recipe as a primary driver.

During the call, Brown outlined a rough timeline for the release, saying it will gradually gain distribution across U.S. retail in the spring, and should be widely available on store shelves for the summer. He also hinted at price increases coinciding with the rollout of a reformulated product he described as “years in the making,” suggesting the release “does coincide well with some pricing changes that we have to take.”



With shrinking budgets stemming from its revenue declines, Beyond Meat will be spending less on marketing efforts as it hopes the new product’s purported improved taste and nutritional benefits will lift the burden of convincing consumers. The new product has been recognized by the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, Good Housekeeping’s “Nutritionist Approved” label, and a Clean Label Project certification.

Asked on the call whether Beyond Meat would decrease its marketing spending, Brown initially dodged answering directly, while alluding to a change in marketing strategy as it emphasizes the benefits of its new formula. Brown cited scientist, inventor and Polaroid co-founder Edwin Land’s line that “Marketing is what you do when your product is no good.”

“Marketing is a lot easier when it’s true…” Brown said. “You’ve got to have a great product…what we have to do is reengage the consumer into this entire category with products that are really delivering value to them in a way that they understand….for us, that’s really about continuing to improve the taste, which I think we've done with Beyond IV, but also addressing this fundamental issue around health.”

The approach seems to mark a shift from the emphasis Brown placed on the importance of marketing in an earnings call last August, when he said the company would be “much more aggressive in our marketing around the goodness within our products” and hinted that the company was considering how it might reallocate funding from other areas into marketing. His comments came as the company was rolling out a campaign that Beyond Meat senior vice president of global marketing Akerho "AK" Oghoghomeh told Marketing Daily was aimed at addressing “a significant gap between our products and the perceptions around our products.”




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