Beyond Meat is crushing Kraft Heinz in plant-based 'meat'

Kraft Heinz is being left in Beyond Meat's dust in the plant-based "meat" industry.

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CEO Miguel Patricio admitted on Thursday that his company finds itself "far behind the plant-based market" despite owning Boca Burger, the first plant-based burger.

Beyond Meat has taken taken the industry by storm since its May 2 initial public offering. The industry leader has forged partnerships with companies like Blue Apron, Dunkin Brands, Subway, and Tim Hortons over the past few months, and expects to see its sales swell to a record $210 million in 2019.

And investors have taken note. Beyond Meat's market capitalization has surged from $1.5 billion at its IPO to a peak of more than $13.4 billion in July. The alternative-meat industry is expected to explode from $14 billion to $140 billion over the next decade, according to Barclays, amid increasing concerns for climate change, animal welfare and wellness.

But Kraft Heinz has struggled to gain traction in the industry, despite having the first-mover advantage. The company purchased Boca Burger back in 2000, but waited until March 2018 rebrand it for the plant-based movement. Kraft does not break down Boca Burger sales, but after Patricio's comments it's evident the company is far behind.

But don't count Kraft Heinz out just yet.

Analysts at Jefferies say the Boca brand is a "focus growth platform with out-sized resources" and believe that "non-soy based and/or refrigerated product launches could be in the works."

Kraft Heinz on Thursday announced $1.22 billion of new writedowns and a first half of net income that was half of what it was a year ago. The company has taken almost $17 billion of writedowns this year after the U.S. Securities and Exchange commission disclosed an investigation into its accounting practices.

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Kraft Heinz shares have plunged 35 percent this year, saddlling Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, which owns 26.7 percent of the company, with billions of dollars of paper losses.