On May 24th, 2022 it was announced that Reality Star, Real Life Elle Woods and Billionaire, Kim Kardashian would be Beyond Meat’s BYND Chief Taste Consultant. What that entails exactly is unknown.
What is well-known, however, is Kim Kardashian herself. Like it or not, the pop culture icon is in the news daily and has a massive following. Not only that, if you’ve seen any television in the past decade, you’ll know that she has an ultra-wealthy family and gang characters in her life as well. The pairing seems to have happened relatively organically, as Kim has advocated for meat alternatives and the Beyond Meat brand specifically in the past.
Is the notoriety of one person really enough to save a brand? In the following 48 hours after the announcement… the answer is seemingly, yes. Since the announcement, BYND has experienced a rollercoaster of sorts. On May 24th (day of the announcement) BYND saw a high of $24.92 and a low of $22.30. At the time this piece was authored, the price was above $27.
See also: How to Buy Beyond Meat Stock
Is there any historical precedent for a mega-celebrity signing on to a progressive brand, either as a spokesperson, consultant, board member, etc.? While there may not be anything that can serve as a direct correlation between Kim Kardashian and Beyond Meat, we’ve found a few examples that may give guidance.
There may have never been a better spokesperson in advertising than the 90’s version of Michael Jordan. Everything he touched seemed to turn to gold. He was one of the most famous people in the world, and chose his companies carefully. McDonalds MCD lured Michael to their team in the early 90’s. They’ve obviously grown since then, and Jordan certainly played a role. But that was the 90’s and McDonald’s was already established. The Kardashian parallel isn’t there. However, there is another basketball star/entrepreneur that provides a much better parallel. Enter: LeBron James.
LeBron has been in Jordan’s footprints in more ways than one, also serving as a McDonald’s spokesperson for a five-year period. However, LeBron ditched McDonald’s in 2015 to help grow Blaze Pizza. Blaze Pizza is not yet an IPO, but is set to become one this year. 2015 their growth has skyrocketed, and James’ initial investment near $1M recently turned into $40M by 2020.
One of Beyond Meat’s biggest competitors (Impossible Foods) has seen growth after a 2019 investment from another billionaire celebrity, Jay-Z. However, Impossible Foods is not yet publicly traded.
What if we look at the trajectory, and find an example of a shameless hire to course correct an entire company? Our best example is Nestle NSRGY and its company, Nespresso. Nespresso’s deal with Clooney is worth $40 million dollars and has continuously been renewed since 2006. Nespresso saw sales increase by 30% the first year, and Nestle has been a safe investment for a while. In the past 5 years, Nestle has seen its stock rise nearly 40% (~$34/share).
While it’s impossible to predict the market and each situation is unique, historically speaking, celebrity endorsements, especially those tied long term to the brand, tend to work out. There are plenty more examples to explore and outliers in each direction. However, the Kardashian clan has produced multiple billionaires for a reason - they’re business savvy. Backed by an endorser of that stature, and a consumer base that continues to grow alongside the increase of health-conscious American consumers, Beyond Meat is in a good position. Historically speaking, Beyond Meat’s addition of Kim as a consultant is actually cause for optimism.
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