Alternative meat might be turning into an increasingly viable alternative. 

It's not just the positive 2020 performance of Beyond Meat ($NASDAQ:BYND) - leading competitor Impossible Foods ($IMPOSSIBLEFOODS) has been growing itself and its following at an impressive trajectory, and as America stares down the prospect of higher meat prices, alternative meat may start to look a heck of a lot tastier. 

Beyond Meat may have beaten Impossible Foods to the exchanges, but Impossible Foods looks to be growing at a faster clip than its El Segundo-based rival (both are headquartered in California). Impossible Foods has increased headcount 20% in 2020, to 468, to Beyond Meat's tally of 341. Because a growing number of reports suggest rising meat prices could be born of shortages caused by Coronavirus-induced labor supply shortages, it's possible both companies may need to staff up more if demand rises sharply. And Impossible Foods' partners are doing all they can, to ensure that. 

Impossible Foods is seeing its Facebook chatter soar - and now, it's poised to surpass Beyond Meat on the social network for consumer engagement (although, Beyond's Facebook Talking About Count has usually been healthier than its competitor). 

What's driving the engagement? For one, Kroger began recently offering Impossible Meats products in its stores, providing a healthy shot in the arm for the company that aims to provide better options to burgers. The company has backing from investors incluing Bill Gates and Google Ventures. 

And, it's apparent that between the likelihood of a meat scarcity, and its expanding consumer presence, that Impossible Foods is benefitting from all the newfound attention. It's not a marked increase but our final chart, below, tracks Impossible Foods' Twitter following over time, which has taken on a slightly new trajectory in recent weeks. 

It's equally apparent that - if we're going to keep boozing this way as a nation - we may benefit from cutting a little red meat out of our diets, at least until we can get back to society-as-usual. Both these competitors are vying for consumers' attention - but it's unclear that they're truly a far healthier offering, at least, at this stage in the game. 

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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