As the pandemic changed shopping habits, Big Food started embracing direct-to-consumer sales. PepsiCo launched new websites to sell snacks and pantry items like oatmeal. In the U.K., Heinz started online sales of canned beans and spaghetti. And if you want plant-based burgers shipped to your home, you’re covered: both Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat now offer online sales.
On an e-commerce site that launched today, Beyond Meat is offering its products in bulk (one choice is a 10-pack of burger patties combined with two pounds of Beyond Beef) with free two-day shipping. “We have considered direct consumer for a time, but definitely the COVID pandemic situation sped that up a little bit and add some more sense of urgency,” says Charles Muth, chief growth officer at Beyond Meat.
The products are already available in more than 100,000 retail stores and restaurant outlets globally, but the company recognized that many consumers—even before COVID—also want the convenience of home delivery. Beyond Meat also sees direct-to-consumer sales as an opportunity to get consumer feedback more easily. “We may in the future offer unique items that are not available yet to retail just to gauge consumer response,” says Muth.
Each shipment is carbon neutral through a program offered by UPS, which supports carbon-capturing projects at wastewater treatment plants and landfills to offset the carbon footprint of delivering the food.