Beyond Meat Inc.
is revamping its retail sales strategy to center on five major grocers and hiring a new marketing executive as part of an effort to reinvigorate the plant-based food maker’s business. The California-based company is orienting its retail business around Kroger Co.
Publix Super Markets Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp.
Whole Foods Market, according to internal company presentations and documents. Beyond is working to streamline its operations and reverse declining sales.
Beyond said Thursday that it is hiring Akerho “AK” Oghoghomeh to lead the company’s global marketing efforts. Oghoghomeh is joining Beyond from energy-drink maker Red Bull North America, where he oversaw advertising and other initiatives for Red Bull’s U.S. business, according to a Beyond spokeswoman. It is a difficult period for Beyond, the pioneer of plant-based burgers, which aim to closely mimic the taste and texture of beef. Sales of the company’s imitation-meat products have fallen while its losses have grown. The company lost multiple top executives and hundreds of employees through layoffs last year, and its chief brand officer departed in January. Beyond’s stock is down 68% in the last year, though it has risen 37% over the past three months. Across U.S. grocery stores, sales of meat substitutes have fallen. In the 52 weeks ended Jan. 1, sales of fresh-meat alternatives dropped 15% by volume while sales of frozen versions fell 3%, according to market-research firm IRI. An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com. Also popular on WSJ.com: The bosses are back in charge. Short on cash, more Americans tap 401(k) savings for emergencies.