McDonald’s “McPlant” announcement scared Past Meat traders, analyst says

Ethan Brown, Founder, President and CEO of Beyond Meat.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Beyond Meat’s shares scrambled up to 28% after close of trading on Monday after posting disappointing third-quarter results, ending a frenzied trading day for the volatile stock.

McDonald’s announcement of a plant-based line called “McPlant” sparked confusion among investors as to whether Beyond would be a supplier to the largest US restaurant chain after sales. The company made the meatless burger patty for a McDonald’s test in Ontario.

The fast food giant declined to give CNBC details of its suppliers for the upcoming products.

“We have a relationship with Beyond Meat where they supported us in our Canadian test market,” McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski told CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla. “We haven’t yet made a decision about how we will be and which suppliers will support our global rollout. So I don’t want to comment on that.”

However, a spokesman for Beyond said in a statement to CNBC that the company had partnered with McDonald’s to create a meat-free patty that will be available as part of McPlant.

Speaking to Beyond’s results conference call Monday night, JP Morgan analyst Ken Goldman told Beyond CEO Ethan Brown that Brown “scared people a little” for not giving investors substantial details about what In addition, it could be an important source of growth.

In a response to Goldman, Brown said that from his own observations, McDonald’s may have wanted to put the spotlight on Investor Day and the announcement of Beyond as a supplier could have disrupted that focus. He also said he would wait to work with McDonald’s before adding any further comments on Beyond’s role in McPlant.

“I’m going to say this: everything we’ve said is true,” said Brown. Beyond has built a “very long-term” relationship with McDonald’s, including creating the burger, which will be part of McPlant, and it is up to the chain to determine the extent of the collaboration.

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