Beyond Meat is expanding distribution of its meatless chicken tenders to 8,000 new grocery, pharmacy and big-box retail locations.
Customers will now be able to buy Beyond Chicken Tenders at select Albertsons, Sprouts, Whole Foods Market and CVS locations nationwide. All Kroger locations also will carry the item by the end of the month.
“From a selling standpoint, wherever our customers have interest in carrying our product, we want it to be available so our consumers can ultimately shop there as well,” Beyond’s Chief Growth Officer Deanna Jurgens said in an interview.
The Beyond Chicken Tenders expansion comes after several quarters of weak retail sales for the company. Consumer demand for its beef and sausage alternatives soared during the early days of the pandemic as restaurant sales plummeted, but those shopping habits have since tailed off.
Additionally, the company focused on fast-food partnerships in 2021 over launching new retail products. In the fourth quarter, Beyond’s U.S. grocery sales fell about 20% to just shy of $50 million.
The slump in sales growth has disappointed investors. The stock has fallen 66% over the last year, dragging its market value down to $2.77 billion.
Beyond first launched the chicken tenders product in restaurants last July before it hit grocery shelves in October. CEO Ethan Brown told analysts in February that those launches were more expensive because of supply chain problems, but costs have improved as the company ramped up production.
“Distribution continues to be a key driver for us as we go into this year,” Jurgens said.