Title: Beyond Meat’s Venture into Asia
Subject Area: International expansion & growth
Region: Singapore, China
Industry: Plant-based food; beverage industry
Company: Beyond Meat
Timeframe: February 2020
Decision Maker: Ethan Brown, CEO
Dilemma: Beyond Meat was considering an expansion into the Asia-Pacific market. The plant-based food and beverage industry was growing and there was a significant appetite in the Asia-Pacific market. They were considering two markets for expansion: Singapore and China. There were several local competitors within each country and Beyond Meat needed a competitive advantage over these local alternatives. In March 2020, Brown needed to determine whether to move forward with an Asian market play or to stay focused on building profitability within Beyond Meat’s existing business.
Investment to Personal Capital:
Four Northeastern University MBA students chose Beyond Meat for their BE-EDGE consulting case. This project focused on analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the company, along with two potential markets for expansion. It was a great opportunity to use the team’s collective business knowledge, along with the frameworks introduced in the BEEDGE program.
Emily’s CORE as a PRO: Emily utilized her experience in international business and strategic decision making. She has experience building out company strategies, as well as her project management skills. She’ll walk away with more experience and knowledge related to international business.
Tamara’s CORE as a PRO: With a strong background in international business, Tamara employed her knowledge of global business strategy, organizational culture, and strategic decision making throughout this consulting process. Moving forward, Tamara will employ the knowledge she gained in assessing global expansion options and making critical expansion decisions.
Shana’s CORE as a PRO: Leveraging global business strategies she learned, Shana incorporated her experience in human capital, strategic decision making, project management, research, and strategic communication skills to engage in this consulting case. She will be able to use these skills in her future work in international business and consulting.
Yina’s CORE as a PRO: Yina applied her knowledge of culture in the business setting as well as the PESTEL framework in working on the consulting case. The frameworks will prove useful when working in financial consultation, especially when clients look to conduct business abroad.
Investments to Social Capital:
The team conducted a thorough review of the company’s annual report and business model. In addition, the team conducted a review of the plant-based food and beverage industry, particularly within Asia. Since Beyond Meat was not involved in the case analysis, this research was essential in creating social capital.
Investment to Professional Capital:
Although Beyond Meat wasn’t involved in the team’s case development, we believe they would benefit from the analysis. The team acted as unbiased consultants and that can be very valuable when it comes to difficult decisions. Oftentimes, unconscious bias plays a role in business decisions; the independence of the case team can assist in counteracting that.
The team utilized business frameworks to analyze the decision objectively. For example, they conducted an independent analysis of the business model, a PESTLE analysis for each market opportunity, as well as Porter’s five forces to better understand the industry. Ultimately, this yielded an objective recommendation for market and entry strategy.
The team walked away with individual capital; each of them will take many of these lessons and apply them directly to their careers. This experience built the team’s understanding and utilization of international business frameworks, which will help them more critically analyze business decisions and provide recommendations more effectively.