Ethan Brown founded Beyond Meat ($BYND) in 2009. By 2013, he was selling mock-chicken products at Whole Foods. In 2014, they developed a fake-beef product. In May 2019, Beyond Meat went public with a $3.8 billion valuation. Two months later, its market value was a staggering $11.7 billion.

Brown owns a reported 3.2 million shares of BYND, which today would be worth around $534 million. He managed to build a company that grew to a greater value than the New York Yankees (roughly $4.6 billion), one of the world’s most valuable sports franchises, in a little under a decade’s time. So how did we get here?

Much of Beyond Meat's success is related to its healthy distribution. The product is now available in almost every continent.

As of publishing, we see more than 27,000 points of distrubution. This number is based on Beyond Meat's own website, where it invites both potential customers and business partners to find out where the product is for sale.

There is massive diversity in where Beyond Meat sells its product. Still among the list is Whole Foods, with 684 stores, but major partners like Tim Hortons and Walmart ($WMT) are bringing the product to the masses.

The number of people working at Beyond Meat has grown along with its worldwide distribution, with 261 people listing the company as their employer on LinkedIn ($MSFT) alone. 

But Beyond Meat's workforce is nowhere near done growing. Hiring at the company has accelerated since the IPO, with job openings at Beyond Meat jumping from 50 to 66 since June alone.

The company's growth isn't all distribution and numbers, though. Consumers are wildly interested in giving the meta alternative a try. According to Google Trends, interest in Beyond Meat his peak popularity in May 2019 — right around the company's IPO — and then once again in mid-June. That's a great trend for a fake meat company that depends on sizzling summertime sales for long-term viability, as that's when most Americans are loading up their backyard grills.

By looking at Facebook user interest in Beyond, as measured by the brand's "Talking About" metric on its brand page, we can see a recent spike in interest. A 2017 series of spikes coincided with the announcement of a vegan alternative to pork sausage called Beyond Sausage.

Consumer curiosity via Alphabet's Google ($GOOG) is further corroborated by steady growth in Facebook ($FB) followers over time. As of today, the company has received 394,000 likes on Facebook, up from 255,000 this time last year.

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using 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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