(Reuters) – Plant-based meat maker Beyond Meat Inc <BYND.O> said on Monday it would start selling its frozen breakfast sausage patties at 5,000 more stores in the United States, including at Kroger <KR.N>, Walmart <WMT.N> and Publix, by the end of September.
The California-based company, which derives about half of its global sales from restaurants, has had to reroute its products to retailers to keep sales humming during restaurant closures from coronavirus-led lockdowns.
“Following the initial release of our Beyond Breakfast Sausage Patties at retailers earlier this year, we heard an enthusiastic and overwhelmingly positive response from consumers who asked for increased availability,” Chief Growth Officer Chuck Muth said in a statement.
The company, which also sells plant-based patties, launched the Beyond Breakfast Sausage patty, meant to taste like pork breakfast sausage patties, at select stores in March.
The addition of 5,000 more stores will result in doubling of distribution of the sausage patties, the company said.
Demand for plant-based meat alternatives has continued to surge during the pandemic, with Nielsen data showing that unit sales for fully cooked plant-based alternatives jumped 25% in the four weeks to Aug. 22. In the April-June period, sales of such products had surged 31.4%.
This has helped Beyond Meat’s shares nearly double this year to $149, compared with a 1.9% drop for the broader S&P 500 index <.SPX>. Beyond Meat’s stock was down 1.4% in afternoon trading in a broader market near seven-week lows.
While U.S. retail sales nearly tripled to about $90 million in the company’s most recent quarter, a spike in costs due to the coronavirus and the sharp slump in sales at restaurants fueled a $10 million net loss.
(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Sriraj Kalluvila)