Plant-based food stocks are coming back into fashion. A few years ago, the hype around the emerging sector was much higher. Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) was at the Vanguard of the push toward plant-based meat alternatives. It has failed to meet the hype and is legitimately at risk of bankruptcy. Its failure has served to cool demand overall.
However, consumers continue to demand plant-based foods in general. Dollar sales for plant-based meats have grown by 43% annually since 2019. Annual growth moving forward is projected at a more muted 12.4%. Thus, the signs suggest that plant-based food stocks will continue to have strong potential into 2024 and beyond.
Ingredion (NYSE:INGR) is primarily known as a provider of starches and sweeteners. It’s the kind of food ingredients stock that is hardly likely to catch the eye of investors overall. Even as stocks like Beyond Meat’s took off years ago most investors would have been hard-pressed to identify Ingredion in the same breath.
Regardless, Ingredion has emerged as a major player in the plant-based food stocks space. The company provides plant-based ingredients in addition to the starches and sweeteners for which it is better known.
In 2021, the company opened the first facility in North America to produce pea protein isolate and pea starch. Pea protein isolate is 85% protein and can be utilized to increase the protein content of plant-based food products. Thus, Ingredion is well-positioned to take advantage of future growth in the sector. That’s especially true given how much recent attention has been given to protein intake and health. The greater the protein content of plant-based foods, the better for sales.
Recent earnings have been strong and Ingredion shares include a dividend yielding more than 3% currently.
Oatly (NASDAQ:OTLY) is one of the plant-based food stocks that often gets mentioned in the same breath as Beyond Meat.
You could easily argue that both brands have been a flop and many would agree with you. However, I’d like to differentiate between the two because Oatly is the better stock by far. Analysts don’t rate Oatly particularly well but it should be noted that they also give it no underweight or sell ratings. It also has the potential to more than double an investor’s capital. Beyond Meat continues to be poorly rated with multiple sell ratings.
Let’s be clear here: Both firms are at risk of bankruptcy. However, Beyond Meat’s Altman-Z score is particularly poor.
Anyway, Oatly’s sales are increasing modestly. Beyond Meat continues to see its sales decline rapidly. The company has a long way to go and has to make strong efforts to prove to investors that it can control its losses. but at the end of the day, Oatly continues to be the largest oat milk brand globally. It simply needs to tighten operations while also maintaining moderate growth and it should be fine overall.
Nomad Foods (NOMD)
Nomad Foods (NYSE:NOMD) is a leading frozen foods company that I’d never heard of before writing this article. That said, I am familiar with many of its brands including Bird’s Eye. Nomad Foods is headquartered in the U.K. and is Europe’s largest frozen food company. Its leading vegetable brands make it among the best plant-based food stocks to bet on in 2024.
That said, Nomad Foods doesn’t simply sell frozen vegetables. It is also a retailer of plant-based meat frozen foods. The company sells plant-based chicken nuggets and fish sticks. Nomad Foods has a strong presence in the frozen foods aisle thus it has access to data about consumer preferences. If any company has a chance of establishing strong plant-based frozen foods, Nomad Foods is surely among them.
The company recently released earnings. While revenues were essentially flat, the company did increase its full-year EPS guidance. Further, Nomad Foods also authorized a share repurchase plan worth up to $500 million.
On the date of publication, Alex Sirois did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.