Beyond Meat ($BYND) is sizzling in 2020 - no matter what it's made of. Shares are up nearly 50% this year alone, as the maker of substitute meat products has bounced back from a disappointing market narrative that closed out 2019.

Job postings from Beyond Meat - like a lot of other companies with a tendency to recalibrate hiring decisions at the beginning of the year - dove 45% in January, but then bounced back to add more roles this month. Jobs seeing fewer postings (charts not shown) at Beyond Meat include sales, marketing, and "innovation" roles. 

When Beyond Meat announces earnings February 27, the maker of meat substitute products (and that's not derogatory; the author has sampled and enjoyed their various pea-protein-based goods) is seeing EPS expectations of an even $0.00, according to analysts tracked by Zacks Investment Research. 

One of the best things about being the first mover to IPO markets is the advantage the quick have over everyone else. And, Beyond Meat's big debut - which first soared, then faltered, may help it gain a leg up for Facebook ($FB) Talking About Count over Impossible Foods ($PRIVATE:IMPOSSIBLEFOODS). 

But there may be another advantage - Beyond Meat is preparing to step in and take market share from a top competitor, in Impossible Foods, which had to give up the ghost on being McDonalds' lone faux-meat supplier. Already, Beyond Meat is working to supply its patties to Mickey-D's Canadian businesses. Restaurant operators are beginning to see a boost from adding meat substitute products to their menus, and continued expansion for the brand here will help drive revenue - and attention. 

Over on Twitter ($TWTR), Beyond Meat is 'beyond' Impossible Foods' reach, yet another example of a key social media advantage (we've seen how the fried chicken wars created an advantage for clever marketing teams). 

However, there may be another new competitor that shoppers are talking about, and soon. Kroger ($KR) recently announced plans to launch a private-label fake-meat line of its own, putting its product in direct competition with the two upstart companies. 

Beyond Meat stock is soaring in 2020, up nearly 50% - and if it tops analysts' estimates or has a rosy guidance at a time when little in the way of good news is to be forecast, its big run will likely continue. 

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. 

Further Reading: 

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