Categories Consumer, Earnings Call Transcripts

Beyond Meat, Inc. (BYND) Q3 2021 Earnings Call Transcript

BYND Earnings Call - Final Transcript

Beyond Meat, Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND) Q3 2021 earnings call dated Nov. 10, 2021

Corporate Participants:

Lubi Kutua — Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis, Investor Relations

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Phil Hardin — Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Analysts:

Bryan Spillane — Bank of America — Analyst

Alexia Howard — Bernstein — Analyst

Adam Samuelson — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

Rupesh Parikh — Oppenheimer — Analyst

Peter Saleh — BTIG — Analyst

Ben Theurer — Barclays — Analyst

Jon Anderson — William Blair — Analyst

Ken Goldman — JPMorgan — Analyst

Presentation:

Operator

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for standing by. Welcome to Beyond Meat, Inc. 2021 Third Quarter Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Please note this conference is being recorded.

I will now turn the conference over to your host, Lubi Kutua, Vice President, FP&A, Investor Relations for Beyond Meat. Thank you. You may begin.

Lubi Kutua — Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis, Investor Relations

Thank you. Good afternoon, and welcome. Joining me on today’s call are Ethan Brown, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Phil Hardin, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. By now, everyone should have access to the company’s third quarter earnings press release and investor presentation filed today after market close. These documents are available on the Investor Relations section of Beyond Meat’s website at www.beyondmeat.com.

Before we begin, please note that all the information presented on today’s call is unaudited. And during the course of this call, management may make forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. These statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in the earnings release that we issued today, along with the comments on this call, are made only as of today and will not be updated as actual events unfold. Please refer to today’s press release, the company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, the company’s quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended October 2, 2021, to be filed with the SEC and other filings with the SEC for a detailed discussion of the risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements made today.

Please also note that on today’s call, management will refer to adjusted EBITDA, adjusted gross profit and adjusted net loss, which are non-GAAP financial measures. While we believe these non-GAAP financial measures provide useful information for investors, the presentation of this information is not intended to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for the financial information presented in accordance with GAAP. Please refer to today’s press release or the investor presentation for a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA, adjusted gross profit and adjusted net loss to their most comparable GAAP measures.

And with that, I would now like to turn the call over to Ethan Brown.

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Thank you, Lubi, and good afternoon, everyone. Before discussing our Q3 2021 results in detail, I want to provide context for my commentary and clearly differentiate between short-term variability on the one hand, and ongoing strong progress toward our long-term vision of becoming tomorrow’s global protein company on the other.

The broader context of our remarks can be summarized in two main points. First, my comments to our best understanding of an environment that is characterized by rapidly changing and we believe, largely transitory dynamics. We are reminded, for example, that a quarter ago, Q2 2021, we posted record net revenues of $149 million. We believe our long-term thesis is strengthening and undeterred by current instability, we’ve been making bold investments in our innovation, manufacturing, operations, and sales and marketing capabilities across the U.S., EU and China. We make these investments not as hopeful thinking, but rather prudent planning against forthcoming launches and strategic growth activities.

Second, my comments today are focused on the entirety of the quarter, how the business performed relative to our expectations as we began 2021 and our promising path forward. The headline for the third quarter relative to our expectations at the onset of 2021 is that it was a difficult operating environment, highly variable demand, reflecting the Q2 retreat and then Q3 reemergence of COVID in the form of the Delta variant, sustained labor shortages impacting certain customers as well as our own facilities and other high-impact supply chain disruptions are among the challenges characterized in the quarter.

As we headed into Memorial Day, we, like many in the country, felt that the long shadow of COVID was finally receding. We saw growth in Foodservice as restaurants and venues reopened to strong consumer demand and posted our aforementioned record quarter in Q2 2021. We began looking eagerly to the resumption of activities with our strategic quick-serve restaurant partners both in the U.S. and abroad, a key building block in our originally anticipated growth plan for 2021. Yet as a summer we’re on and the Delta variant too cold, we did not see a sustained recovery. And as you will recall, in Foodservice, COVID-19 disruptions in consumer behavior are particularly challenging for the segment of customers that we serve.

Though in our largest active chain in the U.S. that does offer drive-thru, we saw a meaningful uptick in velocity in the quarter. The majority of our customers today rely on in-store and in-venue consumption for sales. Accordingly, we were disproportionately impacted throughout the quarter as the Delta variant dampened consumer activity within the core of our Foodservice customer base. Further, within Foodservice, we believe the downward pressure exerted by the Delta variant was further exasperated by labor shortage that drove reduced operating hours and menu rationalization.

For our business, the extent that moving from test to fuller launches with our strategic QSR partners is an important contributor to our revenue build. The combined contribution of COVID’s long tail and related labor shortages has had a particularly disruptive that we expect transitory impact on our growth trajectory.

In short, as we planned 2021, we held cautious expectations by the second half of the year, we’d have our footing back in food service and specifically be more active with many of our QSRs, we saw further delays. Unlike 2020, when Foodservice challenges led to a marked increase in retail activity, as Foodservice demand reduced, we did not see a corresponding increase in activity in retail, the brand or category level during the third quarter. We believe the following broader behaviors and trends may be at play. This expectation is not intended to be exhaustive, and with time, we expect we will gain a fuller understanding of the drivers behind third quarter demand levels.

One, consumers reported fewer and less frequent trips to the store; two, consumers reported being less open to trialing new products; three, consumers reported less interest in healthy options; four, the cancellation or reduced scope of our sampling programs as the Delta variant spread, limited new consumer exposure to our brand and category; five, to a much lesser extent than Foodservice, though still relevant, labor issues created complexity and possibly impacted demand retailers due to late shelf resets and less frequent restocking; six, with increased competition over the past two years, we’re seeing, as expected, some impact on our market share. However, in looking at the Q2 to Q3 SPINS market share data on a product mix neutral basis, it does not reveal competition to be a significant contributor to the aforementioned deceleration.

Finally, when considering demand, it is worth noting the possible impact of our Q2 2021 revenues. We experienced a significant increase in shipping towards the end of the second quarter, driven in part by retailers stocking up for July 4 and the balance of summer grilling season and Foodservice operators anticipating a broader reopening of the economy. We believe these heavier levels of shipping during the last month of Q2 likely negatively impacted Q3 reorders.

Turning to supply chain. We experienced a series of disruptions throughout the quarter. These included labor shortages in our facilities, at a transportation partner, at co-packers and at third-party logistics providers. Collectively, these labor issues added complexity across operations and impacted our ability to fill certain orders. Additionally and significantly, severe weather interrupted water supplies for two weeks at our Pennsylvania production facility as well as destroyed sizable amounts of packaging inventory at a related storage center.

Though we were able to reallocate certain materials from other locations, the loss of packaging materials at our storage facility had a sustained impact on our ability to fill orders as we waited replenishment of damaged inventory.

I do want to take a moment to discuss the general balance of exogenous and internal factors that contributed to our results this quarter. As you know, at Beyond Meat, we are highly focused on driving with urgency, continuous improvement in our products. This cultural event is captured in multiple ways, including the language we use to describe our processes such as the long-standing Beyond Meat rapid and relentless innovation program, our internal innovation initiative. We apply the same lens of continuous improvement to our own organization in this difficult operating environment, highlighted areas of opportunity in a maturing company.

As labor challenges, severe weather and an explosion at one of our key suppliers each interfered with our operations in Q3, we worked to materialize planned redundancy more rapidly across our supply chain. Further, we encountered delays in some of our commercialization efforts, certain of which highlighted the need to expedite the consolidation of our scaling activities within a dedicated commercialization facility here in Los Angeles, and that is now underway.

Having weathered both literal and figurative storms throughout the quarter that brought into sharper focus areas for more rapid development, we are emerging as an even stronger organization. These disruptions notwithstanding through Q3 2021, we remain highly focused on the execution of our long-term strategy. And accordingly, we are pleased to report that we continue to gain ground across key enablers of our long-term growth. Broadly, we’ve invested heavily in readying an impressive range of products for our QSR partners, put significant resources against expanded capacity for planned launches.

Our efforts are, of course, not limited to the U.S. market. As in the U.S., in the EU and China like, we continue to strengthen and grow our capabilities, including sales, marketing, manufacturing, operations and innovation, among others, as we expand our presence in these important global markets.

Finally, we expect next month to announce an exciting addition to our leadership team in operations, one that will bring valuable and directly relevant experience in serving our QSR partners and scaling global food manufacturing operations. With this context as background, I will now provide greater detail into our Q3 results.

We generated net revenues of $106 million, representing a 13% increase over the third quarter of 2020. Total retail net revenues were up 5% year-over-year with continued strength in international retail, which increased 168% year-over-year, partially offset by weaker results in U.S. retail, which declined 16% year-over-year.

Representative of the unusual patterns we are seeing, our third quarter U.S. retail net revenues were lower on a sequential basis, which runs counter to the general seasonality we were accustomed to seeing in our pre-COVID numbers. Our leadership position in U.S. retail continues to be borne out in product sales rankings, where we maintained our number-one top-selling SKU position across all of plant-based meat and continue to own four of the top six best-selling SKUs in the category. Further, we gained distribution with a 23% increase in TDPs versus a year ago, according to spin data for U.S. MULO for the 12 weeks ended October 3.

As you know, increasing TDPs is a positive outcome for our brand over the long run, but tends to exert downward pressure on velocity. Specifically, we saw a 21% year-over-year decline in velocity for the brand in U.S. MULO for the same period. These dynamics notwithstanding, our brand velocity remains nearly 3 times higher than the category average on an absolute basis, which we believe strengthens our case for further distribution expansion with retailers.

We continue to see consistent progress in important metrics such as household penetration and repeat rates. But household penetration for the category was down slightly on a sequential basis. We know continued advancement in our own penetration, which increased 20 basis points sequentially and 90 basis points year-over-year to 6.4% according to SPINS IRI consumer panel data for the 52 weeks ended October 3, 2021.

With more households buying our products, we are pleased to see that our repeat rates also increased 60 basis points sequentially to 52.6%. Our buyer rate decreased 4% sequentially, likely impacted by higher promotional activity in Q3, while our purchase frequency was modestly lower quarter-over-quarter to the tune of negative 0.3%.

We continue to innovate in the retail space and just recently began the early stages of a national rollout of Beyond Chicken tenders. This product derived from faba beans is a clear winner on taste, texture and nutrition as it delivers 50% less saturated fat than traditional chicken tenders, while containing no GMOs, antibiotics, hormones or cholesterol. We are pleased to report that right out of the gate, Beyond Chicken tenders won the prestigious 2021 Food and Beverage or FABI Award from the National Restaurant Association. You should expect to see more from us under this platform in the near future as we seek to offer a broad assortment of product offerings that grow our chicken portfolio.

Turning to U.S. Foodservice. We maintained our number-one brand position in terms of dollar share according to NPD data for the three months ended September 2021, despite the intense variability from Q2 to Q3. Net revenues decreased 7% year-over-year and were, as noted, well below our Q2 total. As I shared, a good portion of our U.S. Foodservice business, about two-thirds historically, but even higher now is composed of outlets that were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the emergence of the Delta variant. These include small independent restaurants, bars and pubs, corporate catering services, hotels, movie theaters, shopping arenas and amusement parks, among others.

Internationally, our business again generated strong results, with retail sales up 168% year-over-year and Foodservice sales up 117% year-over-year, collectively reflecting gains in both distribution and average sales per outlet.

I’ll now provide a brief update on some recent product highlights and key strategic initiatives. McDonald’s initiated limited time offerings of the McPlant burger made with Beyond Meat patties in three European markets, including Austria, the Netherlands and the U.K. In addition, as you’ve likely noted, last week, McDonald’s initiated a small limited time operations test at eight restaurants here in the U.S. We are excited to work with such an iconic global brand as McDonald’s, and we’re equally excited to see the overwhelmingly positive media response generated by the early test in Europe.

At the end of October, I was visiting our facilities in the Netherlands and had the opportunity to buy the McPlant burger. It was as expected, outstanding. On returning to the U.S., the following week, I was able to do the same in Los Angeles. In both instances, I watched and interacted with other consumers as they enjoyed the McPlant. Encouragingly, these consumers fit the mold of the flexitarian and while not vegan or vegetarian were enjoying the McPlant burger.

In Canada, we introduced Beyond Meat nuggets nationwide at A&W on a limited time basis, marking another great milestone within our earliest QSR partners. This exciting product offers 18 grams of plant-based protein per six piece serving, and as always, is made from simple plant-based ingredients with no GMOs, antibiotics, hormones or cholesterol.

Also in Foodservice, Pizza Hut launched a limited rollout of our latest product innovation, Beyond Pepperoni, at roughly 70 locations across five U.S. markets. This new product co-developed with Pizza Hut’s culinary teams truly showcases the strength of our innovation capabilities as we overcame numerous technical challenges to ensure that Beyond Pepperoni is nearly indistinguishable from Pizza Hut’s iconic original pepperoni, even down to its crispiness properties. This limited offering at Pizza Hut in the U.S. comes on the heel of the permanent menu launch of Beyond Meat products at Pizza Hut U.K. in July.

Given pepperonis consistent ranking as the number-one selling pizza topping in the U.S. and elsewhere, we are excited about the potential of this product line and are eager to expand its availability over the coming quarters. Last, but certainly not least, in the Foodservice space, we recently announced the expansion of our test with Panda Express to 10 major markets across the U.S. at 70 locations. This follows the initial success of Beyond The Original Orange Chicken at select Panda Express locations in Southern California and New York City, which garnered to raise consumer and media reviews and sold out in less than two weeks at all SoCal stores, making it one of Panda’s most successful regional launches to-date. We are proud to be Panda’s partner of choice to recreate their iconic and most popular menu item.

Let me now provide a brief update on our progress in growing our operations in the EU and China. We are now capable of performing each aspect of our production process in country in the Netherlands and China from production of our drive blends to extrusion to finished goods assembly. Moreover, in the Netherlands and China, we are operating our highest throughput extruders yet. For some time now, we’ve been building toward full end-to-end production in both geographies and reaching this milestone is a major accomplishment for our team. I’m extremely proud of them and their work.

As you can imagine, scaling complex processes in different economies around the world can be challenging. Doing so during the last 18 months under COVID-19 conditions complicated the work of our employees considerably. In just one example, due to travel restrictions to our Jajang China facility, we’re required to conduct a significant amount of scaling activities with new staff over video conferencing equipment. We continue to pursue our global cost-down program with the end goal of price parity with animal protein in at least one category, beef, pork or poultry within the next two-and-half years. Today, we are working through a robust pipeline of cost reduction opportunities, including in the areas of raw ingredient procurement savings, waste reduction, throughput improvement, network optimization, including potential in-sourcing opportunities, warehousing and transportation efficiencies, aforementioned local production in our global markets and packaging optimization. With these efforts already underway and those still to come, I feel very confident about reaching our cost parity goal within the committed time line.

In closing, it remains our objective and focus to insulate our long-term strategy from short-term conditions. Just as we did not adjust our focus and strategy as a result of record revenues in Q2 of this year, continue to execute against our plan despite a difficult third quarter. As such, this remains a period of intense investment for our future. Here and abroad, we are continuing to make the innovation, commercialization, marketing and global production investments necessary for long-term growth. These investments are not founded on hopeful thinking, but rather are the result of planning against key partnerships, market development initiatives and other opportunities, many of which have been delayed due to COVID-19 and the Delta variant, labor shortages and supply chain challenges, including our own and those of customers.

One of the benefits of being a relatively new public company, whose early experience in the public markets has been forged for the last 18 months is enduring multiple stress tests that reveal both strengths and weaknesses and generate accelerated learning. We are emerging from the pandemic and its attendant challenges, far stronger as a result and are continually making progress on our long-term growth pillars of taste, nutrition and cost as we prepare for 2022 and beyond.

With that, I will now turn it over to Phil to walk us through our third quarter financial results and outlook for the balance of the year.

Phil Hardin — Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Thank you, Ethan, and good afternoon, everyone. Let me provide a broad overview of our third quarter financial results before commenting on our outlook for Q4. We achieved net revenues of $106 million in the third quarter of 2021, representing an increase of 13% compared to the third quarter of 2020. Q3 2021 net revenue fell short of our initial guidance and we provided a press release on October 22, outlining the factors we believe led to our revised revenue guidance of approximately $106 million. So I will not repeat those factors here.

Growth in net revenues was primarily driven by a 143% year-over-year increase in sales to international customers, partially offsetting the increase in international. U.S. net revenues declined 14% in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the third quarter of 2020, with U.S. retail down 16% year-over-year and U.S. Foodservice down 7% year-over-year.

Taking a closer look at our distribution channels, in retail, across the U.S. and international, our volume of products sold increased 8% year-over-year with international up 123% and the U.S. down 9%. Net revenue per pound for total retail was lower by approximately 2% on a year-over-year basis, primarily reflecting increased trade discounts in the U.S. In Foodservice, total volume of products sold increased 24% year-over-year, with international up 55% and the U.S. down 3%. Net revenue per pound for total Foodservice was up 8% year-over-year, driven by reduced trade discounts in international compared to the year ago period.

Moving down the P&L to gross profit. Gross profit in the third quarter of 2021 was $23 million or 21.6% of net revenues as compared to $25.5 million or 27% of net revenues in Q3 of 2020. In Q3 2020, adjusted gross profit, which excludes $1.8 million of expenses related to inventory write-offs and reserves and product repacking costs attributable to COVID-19 was $27.3 million or 28.9% of net revenues. We incurred no such costs in Q3 2021, so our gross margin and adjusted gross margin for Q3 2021 are the same at 21.6%.

The year-over-year decrease in adjusted gross margin was primarily driven by increased transportation costs, inventory write-offs, warehousing fees, depreciation and amortization, partially offset by improved co-manufacturer fees. On a sequential basis, the decrease in gross profit was driven by increased sales discounts, increased inventory write-offs, increased warehousing, transportation costs and depreciation and amortization.

Turning to opex. Total operating expenses were approximately $77 million in the third quarter of 2021 as compared to $44 million in the year ago period. The year-over-year increase in operating expenses primarily reflects growth in overall headcount levels, mainly to support the company’s operations, innovation and marketing capabilities, increased spending and marketing activities, higher professional services fees related to recently established consulting agreements, higher restructuring expenses, primarily reflecting increased legal expenses, increased production trial activities and higher outbound freight costs included in the company’s selling expenses.

On a sequential basis, the increase in operating expenses primarily reflects higher professional services fees, increased marketing activities, higher restructuring fees and increased outbound freight costs. Net loss in the third quarter of 2021 was $54.8 million or $0.87 per common share as compared to a net loss of $19.3 million or $0.31 per common share and adjusted net loss of $17.5 million or $0.28 per common share in the third quarter of 2020.

Adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $36.8 million or minus 34.5% of net revenues in the third quarter of 2021 compared to adjusted EBITDA of $4.3 million or minus 4.5% of net revenues in Q3 2020.

Turning to our balance sheet and cash flow highlights. Our cash and cash equivalents balance was approximately $886 million and total debt outstanding was approximately $1.1 billion as of October 2, 2021. For the nine months ended October 2, 2021, net cash used in operating activities was $191 million compared to $42.7 million in the year ago period. Capital expenditures totaled $104.3 million for the nine months ended October 2, 2021, compared to $38 million for the year ago period. The increase in capital expenditures was primarily driven by continued investments in production equipment and facilities related to capacity expansion and initiatives.

Let me now provide some commentary about our near-term outlook. Overall, we continue to operate in a challenging and variable macro environment, affected in part by ongoing uncertainty related to COVID-19, labor issues at both retail and Foodservice customers, significantly increased transportation costs, raw ingredients and packaging inflation and global supply chain challenges, which have had a minimal impact on our business thus far, but could represent potential headwinds nonetheless.

Combined with the dynamic nature of our category, which remains nascent, this backdrop adds significant variability to our realized end customer demand, thereby increasing forecast and complexity. As such, although our outlook does not assume a significant deterioration in the operating environment as it stands today, it does reflect some conservatism, which we believe is appropriate given the challenges I just highlighted.

For the fourth quarter of 2021, we expect net revenues to be in the range of $85 million to $110 million. The following factors worth highlighting are embedded in this guidance. First, we anticipate a moderation in year-over-year growth across all channels due to the fact that this year, our fourth quarter contains five fewer shipping days compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. Second, we expect our fourth quarter results to be impacted by knock-on effects from the operational challenges in Q3. Although we expect to be fully recovered by the end of this month, these issues presented some headwinds early in the quarter.

Third, in both U.S. and international Foodservice channels, ongoing labor challenges as well as general caution based on COVID-related uncertainty are also expected to have a dampening effect on the net levels. Finally, we expect the moderation of sequential growth due to accelerated orders in the third quarter of 2021 that would otherwise have been expected to materialize in the fourth quarter.

In terms of profitability, as Ethan described, we continue to invest in support of our long-term growth strategy, which includes investment in people and infrastructure. Moreover, with our expectation of accelerating Foodservice activity next year, including in the QSR space, we are maintaining a robust schedule of production trial activities to prepare for the commercial launch of new product innovations. We’re investing in marketing activities to drive awareness and trial. We expect to see a steady increase in the pace of cost down initiative implementations, some of which require upfront investments. These activities will continue to exert pressure on our profitability in the near term. However, given the long runway we continue to see ahead of us in the global plant-based meat category and in order to maintain and expand our leadership position within the sector, we believe these early levels of investment are necessary and will ultimately maximize value for our shareholders over the long term.

With that, I’ll turn the call back over to the operator to open it up for your questions. Thank you.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our first question is from Bryan Spillane with Bank of America.

Bryan Spillane — Bank of America — Analyst

Hey. Good afternoon, guys.

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Hey, Bryan, afternoon.

Bryan Spillane — Bank of America — Analyst

I just had two — I guess two related questions just on how we should be thinking about expenditures going forward. I think there’s still about $800 million of cash on the balance sheet related to the convert you did earlier this year. And so just trying to get a kind of a sense of how quickly that money is going to be deployed. And again, assuming some of that is infrastructure, some of that is going to be hiring people. Just trying to get a sense of the cadence of that, I guess, as we begin to look over maybe the next year or two.

And then maybe just a second related on expenses. And I think, Ethan, we might have talked about this on the last earnings call, but some of the commentary you made about just what you were observing with consumers, especially in U.S. retail, seem to suggest that maybe consumers are not getting the message for lack of a better way to describe it. So do you see a need maybe to not just increase marketing spend, but to really maybe sharpen the message a bit, so consumers understand the health proposition, the taste proposition of the products.

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Great. Both good questions. And so let me begin with a more general view on the first around the kind of pace of spend. And I want to even take a step further back than I did in the comments to give my perspective on kind of what this quarter was about. There are a lot of different disruptions that occurred throughout the quarter. But if you look at where we’ve been in the second and third quarter of this year, I think we had 149 in last quarter and 106 this quarter. If you take the average of those two, 127.5, that were our results this quarter, right, we’d be up [Technical Issues] year-over-year.

So I’m not excited kind of either way on these results other than to say that there’s a lot of lumpiness and timing issues in them. And so the spend that you see is not spend against the current activities, right? It’s really about the future that is, I think, around the corner for us, and that relates to all these deals that you’ve heard about over the last 12 months, whether it’s the joint venture with Pepsi, McPlant partnership, and I think they were public about putting a product into the market next year in 2022 with that. You look at the McPlant test here in the U.S. and then the larger activities in the Netherlands and Austria and the U.K., for example, which, from everything I’ve seen in the media, which you guys are seeing, not speaking for McDonald’s, but just characterizing what you see in the press, those have been successful.

And then you look at the activities across our Yum! partnership, whether it’s KFC in China or Pizza Hut in the U.S. with the Pepperoni test or Pizza Hut with the ongoing distribution in the U.K. of think three different beyond toppings. And then, of course, you go to Taco Bell or this year, talk about plans with us. So all of these things are accumulating within our system and requiring us to, in a good way, to make investments to be able to serve these future opportunities. and you go into — whether it’s Canada and A&W or the Panda Express here in the U.S., you look at continued rollout of new products in retail. And of course, internationally, we’re making significant investments. And as I mentioned in my comments, just got back from the EU both in the EU and China.

And so all of those are not about this year in these results during this period of what we would characterize a stability, but rather for 2022 and beyond. And so I think it’s an opportunity for us to continue to lay the core foundation of our future growth. And so if you were to look in the years ahead and start thinking about what type of revenue would come in from those opportunities, I think this level of spend in opex is entirely appropriate for those. So I don’t know if you guys want to add any further details to that.

Phil Hardin — Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Well, I guess the only thing I would add — this is Phil. One thing that we talk about is make sure we maintain flexibility and use a mix of co-manufacturers and our own manufacturing. And so as we look forward, we’ll continue to look for what best allows us to serve our customers, will realize the best economics and give us sort of flexibility there. So that will be a factor in this as well. And we know potentially with doing some of our own manufacturing versus co-mans, there’s potential cost implications that are favorable. And so we’re going to weigh all those things in addition to supporting our customers and looking at new products.

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Just to circle back on my comment, I mean if you I wouldn’t expect kind of a continued acceleration of opex spending sort of for year upon year, right? What we’re doing is building to a particular launch point that we see in the pretty near future versus this setting the trend for percentage of revenue opex for many years forward.

Bryan Spillane — Bank of America — Analyst

Okay. So fair to say the environment hasn’t discouraged you like you’re spending what you need to spend to get where you want to get from a revenue perspective over the next year or two?

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Yes, absolutely. No, it has not discussed at all. I mean, I think the work we’re doing, the foundation we’re laying I think, is quite strong.

Bryan Spillane — Bank of America — Analyst

And then Ethan, just on the marketing message, anything that needs to be fair?

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Yes. No, I think it’s a great question. I think we need to continue to — the reason we did the Stanford work, and we had great results from that clinical trial was to create more data around the point of the health benefits of our products, and we have a five-year program that we’re doing with Stanford to continue to do studies in that regard. And so coming out stronger in 2022 with our health message, I think, is important.

And then of course, I think more and more consumers now are really focused on climate, right? And so you’ve heard me say in the past that, that’s something that we market best directly around. But to the extent we can empower consumers who are feeling pretty helpless about what to do in their own individual lives about this. We’re going to talk about that as well in 2022. So I think you’ll see our most aggressive marketing to-date in terms of focus and spend on those broader attendant benefits of our products.

Bryan Spillane — Bank of America — Analyst

All right. Thank you.

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Yes.

Operator

Our next question is from Alexia Howard with Bernstein.

Alexia Howard — Bernstein — Analyst

Good evening, everyone.

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Hey there.

Alexia Howard — Bernstein — Analyst

Can you hear me okay?

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Yes.

Alexia Howard — Bernstein — Analyst

Okay. So two questions. The first one is around pea prices. We’ve obviously seen those surge on the yellow pea price by over 100% over the last year and in recent months, it’s really jumped up. How much do you already have contracted out in contracts that are already captured for fiscal ’22 given your demand expectations? And what could that do to margins? That’s the first question.

And then the second one is more around the demand side here in North America, particularly in the retail channel. I think you showed in the presentation that the repeat rates were improving sequentially. Do you have numbers around that? I think household penetration, you also mentioned was up sequentially. And yet, the retail sales were down sequentially quite a bit, even as velocity trends and total distribution points seem to be up sequentially on a year-over-year basis, if that makes any sense. I’m just trying to wrap all that up together and trying to figure out what’s going on with the demand and whether it has stalled somehow in the U.S. or at a category level, or whether it’s really more somehow supply related and all the other challenges you’ve been facing? Thank you.

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Yes, very good question. Thank you. So I’ll take the second one first and then turn it over to Phil for the question on pea protein, which I think we have a nice answer for. It is an interesting thing, right? So you’re seeing household penetration increase. I think we’re up at 6.4%. That’s about 20 basis points sequentially and about 90 basis points year-over-year. And then repeat rates, so more households buying it. And then of course, people have been doing the product and buying a can I think are up around 2.6%. So feel good about those. Then you look at kind of broader brand awareness, and we have the number one spot now in total brand awareness displacing Morningstar for the first time. And then in terms of that number of 61% brand awareness, which is compared to an average of less than 30% for other leading plant-based brands.

So we’re really still doing what we set out to do, which is to lead this movement. And we’re still the number-one product in retail, as I mentioned, for the top-six Foodservice, according to NPD data. So all these things would suggest that a quarter like this wouldn’t happen. And I think that’s what’s so unusual about this quarter is I think in the absence of complete information, people try as hard as they can to come up with various theories, and I’m resisting doing that other than to say that there’s just unusual consumer behavior, the things I outlined in my comments, whether it’s people because of the Delta variant spending less time in the retail markets, being less open to trial in the absence of sampling programs that have been so important to us in the past.

I think all of these factors are coming together, some of the trends around what type of food choice people are making to create an unusual quarter for us. But there’s no indication in my view that coming off of a record quarter of revenue in the second quarter to this quarter that there’s some fundamental change in the consumer mindset toward our products. And I think that the all the activities that I just mentioned going forward with our partnership suggests, in fact, the opposite that things are strengthening.

So my view on the year is to get through the year with these unusual conditions and get back to a strong resumption of growth, which I feel very confident about for 2022. I think on the supply side, yes, there were considerable issues on the supply side. I mean we had sort of ongoing issue throughout the year around labor tightness, which everybody felt and then we had this severe weather in Pennsylvania, which took out production in our facilities for up to two weeks and then ruin packaging. So we had a long tail on that one. So these — all these different factors came into play. And the reason that we brought the fourth quarter into the type of range that we did was just didn’t want to go through this fire drill on. The only the most immediate predictor of the future is kind of what just happened. And so we want to guard against having to run through another set of challenges. So I feel really good about 2022, I feel cautiously optimistic about the balance of the year relative to what we gave you guys and I think it’s good to have this quarter behind us.

Phil Hardin — Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

I’ll take the pea protein question. So we have fixed price agreements in place on most of our pea protein supply. So we don’t expect to see impacts from PPI in the near term.

Alexia Howard — Bernstein — Analyst

Great. Thank you very much. I’ll pass it on.

Phil Hardin — Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

PPI, pea protein isolate.

Operator

Our next question is from Adam Samuelson with Goldman Sachs.

Adam Samuelson — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

Yes. Thank you. Good evening, everyone.

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

How are you doing?

Adam Samuelson — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

Hi. So Ethan, I was hoping to maybe think a bit longer term because, obviously, a lot of noise in the short term. And as we think about kind of a potential pathway to return to growth, clearly, international expansion and some of your bigger QSR kind of food service launches or some of the big increments that could be coming over the course of the next 12 to 18 months. And I guess as we think about the revenue mix, pre-COVID 2019, your business was basically 50-50 retail and Foodservice. You’re much more U.S.-centric because you just started international. But now you’ve got manufacturing and Europe, you have manufacturing in China, some local production in Canada. How do we think about maybe ’23, ’24? What you would think is a good revenue mix between retail and Foodservice in domestic and international?

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Yes. That’s a good question. So I think currently, we’re about in the U.S. 78% retail, about 22% Foodservice, which is a pretty big departure from where we were pre-pandemic. And I’m certainly running the business in a way that is investing very heavily in Foodservice and particularly in strategics, right? And so I wouldn’t be doing that if I thought 22% was going to hold. I do think you’re going to see an increase in the Foodservice business within beyond a significant increase as we get into more and more of the strategic accounts that we’ve been working with over the years. And if you look at just our performance, even in this last quarter, something interesting is in that information, which is that our largest — one of our largest QSRs that has a drive-thru that we’re currently in as a permanent item, our sales went up quite a bit in this past quarter year-over-year. And so I think that phenomenon that we talked about, where consumers may be pulled back in retail due to some of the issues I mentioned. And then as you would expect a bump in Foodservice to occur because of the challenges that the kind of on-the-top operations and venues like sporting goods and contract calls in universities, that we’re having. We didn’t get the same pickup that you would have seen otherwise. And I think that has to do with the distribution mix in Foodservice that we’ve talked about a lot, where we’re, I think, now about 81% independent operators and venues and things of that nature versus 19% in these larger strategic accounts.

And so we’re just not getting that. If you look at the trends with consumers today in Foodservice, they’re using fast food restaurants, primarily with drive-thrus and things of that nature, eating more fast food during the course of the pandemic, and we weren’t picking up on that because of the nature of our distribution. So as we get into more and more Foodservice accounts, there are some of these large strategics, I think you’ll see that grow. I don’t know that it’ll get to 50-50 and stay there. But I think you can expect it to approximate that kind of range 60-40, 50-50, depending on the quarter.

Adam Samuelson — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

And then U.S. versus international.

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Yes. So U.S. and international, I think the mix now, we’re about 63% U.S., 37% international. And I was really happy with the international growth. And I’ll tell you something. When I was in Europe, so I’m the most critical of our products by far in terms of someone who’s informed about all the different products in the market. There’s a lot of activity going on in the EU. And I did a nice store tour with our sales team and we went back to one of our production facilities and cooked up all the different samples from all the different competitors. Compared that against our products. And if I had found one that I thought was really good, the innovation team here would have heard about it.

Now the products are good, but ours are better. And that gives me great hope for Europe and you’re seeing some really early results coming out of international work in terms of the growth rates. I think we’re up about 168% internationally. And so feel really, really bullish on the EU. We’re taking a lot of investment there. We’ve got two facilities there now, also bullish on China, both Foodservice and retail. I think we’re 100% Foodservice internationally. So I would expect international going forward to be a very meaningful part of our business, particularly as we bring along these QSRs not just in the U.S.

And so one other way to look at it is the activities we’ve had with McDonald’s. So as I mentioned in my comments, the Netherlands had a terrific McPlant there. But if you look at whether it’s the test in the U.K., in Austria or in the Netherlands, all reports that those from external sources and they’ve been positive and well received. Pizza Hut and the Pizza Hut in the U.K. continues to be to do quite well as well. So as those type of tests pick up and launches pick up, you’ll see more and more international mix.

Phil Hardin — Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Also just since you’re looking at international growth. We mentioned an accelerated order, which would be an order that would be a little unusual versus what we typically see. We estimate that at approximately $3.6 million in international this quarter.

Adam Samuelson — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

That’s really helpful color. I’ll pass it on. Thank you.

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Yes.

Operator

Our next question is from Rupesh Parikh with Oppenheimer.

Rupesh Parikh — Oppenheimer — Analyst

Good evening. Thanks for taking my questions. So I just wanted to touch on the gross margin line. So first, the housekeeping on Q3. Is there any way to quantify the inventory write-off in your adjusted gross margin for Q3? And then I have a follow-up.

Phil Hardin — Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

So in Q3 2021, the unusual item, we mentioned it a couple of times, was water damage in one of our warehouses that was predominantly packaging. That was about $1.9 million.

Rupesh Parikh — Oppenheimer — Analyst

Okay. And that was — that’s still in your adjusted gross margin number? Okay.

Phil Hardin — Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Yes. We didn’t adjust for it. It’s still in the GAAP gross margin number as well.

Rupesh Parikh — Oppenheimer — Analyst

Okay. Great. And then for Q4, is there any granularity you can give us in terms of how to think about gross margins is what we saw in Q3 may be how to think about Q4.

Phil Hardin — Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Well, I think there were some things that were probably a little unusual in Q4. First, we mentioned trade discount. We don’t anticipate trade discounts quite as dramatically as we did this quarter. The inventory write-off, we already sort of size, that was unusual. And then the only other thing to say so, we would expect improvements from both of those lines barring some other issue. We did capitalize some of the costs this quarter when we were running sort of less than optimum as we struggled through some of this stuff. So there is some cost on the balance sheet that will play out. So that would offset some of these other factors I just mentioned.

Rupesh Parikh — Oppenheimer — Analyst

Okay. Great. And then just my last question. So Ethan, we’ve heard from other players just challenges — growth challenges within the plant-based protein category. Just curious your take on what’s really happening out there. Is there incremental pressures you can see overall within the categories? I’d just love your thoughts on what’s happening out there.

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Thank you. I think the thing that we’re trying to kind of make sense of and the reason that I summed in and split the two quarters, we just had a record quarter, right? So we just posted $149 million. And we had just tremendous amount of excitement as Foodservice came back on and then stop. And so if there’s so much unusual behavior going on with whether it’s labor or stimulus checks, supply chain issues we’ve had, some of this, I think, slowing introduction of innovation into the category, just with all the different distractions going on. The fact that we’ve invested a lot of our innovation monies into these large QSRs that are forthcoming. And we typically lead the category in retail in that type of way. All of that, I think, is combined to just have more dormant Q3 than I think people want it. So I don’t think there’s any sector issue or any segment issue. We continue to see strong year-over-year growth in terms of overall annual revenue. And if you look at 2022 and the work we’re doing there, I think there’s tremendous excitement in our company about what’s coming. And so this is a bit of a kind of the pause. And had the pandemic and labor issues and supply chain stuff not interfere, I think this quarter would have been quite different.

Rupesh Parikh — Oppenheimer — Analyst

Okay. Great. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question is from Peter Saleh with BTIG.

Peter Saleh — BTIG — Analyst

Great. Thank you. Thanks for taking the question. I want to ask about the McPlant and the tests you guys are doing with McDonald’s. I know it’s now available the U.K. and a couple of other markets. Is there anything you can share on the initial performance that you’re seeing there? And then secondly, as it’s being marketed there, can you give us a sense on how much of the marketing expense McDonald’s is picking up and how much maybe you guys may be contributing? Thank you.

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Yes. So I can’t share anything and I really want McDonald’s to obviously take the lead on this with good reasons. So all I can give you is the media reports that are out there, which have all been very positive as well as my own experience as a consumer, which anybody could do asking people at the register and drive-thru, how it’s going. And the results in Los Angeles, as you’d expect, has been amazing from the end of the information I’m getting just from talking to people at the register. But — and then, of course, the media coverage has been very positive.

So in terms of marketing, we wouldn’t be able to disclose that. But the other consideration is these are operations tests. So there’s not a lot of — and I’m not sure all of the European ones can be characterized this way. But generally, the distinction between operations test and an advertised test. And so in the U.S., for example, there’s really no advertising, right? They want to see just how the back of the house operates with these products. And so I think one of the opportunities to get back to your earlier question for 2022 for us and a real mandate to our marketing team is, it will be the biggest marketing year over half and part of it will be in supporting not only McDonald’s but other QSRs as we make the case to the American consumer and consumers globally, that they can eat what they love by going into the stores they love and enjoying products that are from Beyond Meat, which benefits to them above and beyond what they could otherwise.

Peter Saleh — BTIG — Analyst

Thank you for that. Very helpful. So just one last question on McPlant. Is there any reason to believe that McPlant with Beyond Meat would have any operational challenges? Is the product any different at all than a traditional beef patty in terms of cook times or the ability to get it made in the amount of time? Just wondering where the operational challenges may land.

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Yes. I haven’t heard that, that there’s any operational challenges within the back of the house and certainly, what I’ve seen from the stores that have toured, they seem to be doing really well. But it’s a great product. I don’t know if anyone on phone has had an opportunity to have it, but it just — if you want some reassurance about where we’re headed, go get a McPlant. Absolutely delicious and, yes, we’re excited about it.

Peter Saleh — BTIG — Analyst

Thank you very much.

Operator

Our next question is from Ben Theurer with Barclays.

Ben Theurer — Barclays — Analyst

Perfect. Thank you very much and good evening. Actually, along the lines on the rollout, etc., Ethan, can you share a little bit the cadence, how you expect this to further roll out? And within the guidance for the fourth quarter, the rollout as it’s happening in the U.K., is that contemplated like a step-up change? I think there was an addition to it just a few weeks ago. for more stores in the U.K., it obviously started at a low level, but it’s adding up. Is that part of your guidance? That would be my first question.

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Yes. So I appreciate it. First of all, I appreciate the fact you guys are asking questions on McDonald’s because we’ve been talking about for years and now I can actually reference stuff going in stores. And all I can say, again, it’s been — really need to see this, all the media reports have been very positive. The analytical information I have from going to different stores, it’s been very positive. But they have to control everything about sharing the results to the cadence of the expense. What I will say is that the investment levels you’re seeing this year, not just specific to McDonald’s, but specific to our entire Foodservice platform have been significant because of what we expect in 2022. And in fact, some of the addition that I mentioned to our management team is also going to be revealing in terms of what we’re looking for in 2022.

Ben Theurer — Barclays — Analyst

Okay. Perfect. And then just to kind of wrap my head around it. If we take a look at the performance in the most recent quarter, it really feels like a story of two worlds with the U.S. being very much impacted in both sides, retail and Foodservice. But then on the other side, having the international business that actually performed very well, back on-track. I mean, you’ve recovered some good stuff here. So what were — I mean, what is it in your hands, what you can do? I mean putting a lot of like the commentary and explanation outside, but what is it which is in your hands, what you can do to get the U.S. somewhat back on-track and get this out of this declining growth rates because it was weaker on a sequential basis, it was weaker on a year-over-year basis in the U.S., just to — what is it what you can do? What are you focusing on? What do you need to do in order to make that work again on the U.S. piece? Because of international piece, I’m not worried.

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Yes. No, thanks. I love the international. Again, adding — I think we added like 7,000 customers across the quarter internationally. So I think one is just time, right? Is all of this noise, again, like having a facility knocked out, having labor issues, all these, Delta variant coming back and kind of as I mentioned in my comments, Memorial Day, things were swinging, and we were really excited about where we’re headed for the summer. And then this news starts to creep out about the returning and all these other issues. So some of just time, let’s get some distance from that. That’s the first thing.

Second is our core items. I mean, they’re terrific items, and we’re continuing to cost down those platforms. We’re continuing to look at everything from packaging to how we market those in 2022. So I think you’ll see a rekindling of energy around our core items. Now we’re also laying for new innovation, right? So whether it’s a chicken that’s rolling out, we’ll get fuller distribution there. All these things that you’ve heard about in the last year that have been in the making that we expect to come into fruition in the U.S., whether it’s again partnership expansion across these QSRs that I’ve mentioned, and then and that has an effect of giving us the opportunity to really spend the most of the spend on marketing to educate the consumer about all the different places they can get it and the benefits, whether health or environment, etc., that come from it.

So I think let’s get some distance from the kind of operational challenges of this environment. Let’s continue to invest in our core because those are terrific products, and we have great production there. Let’s get the innovation out into the market, and let’s go tell our story, right? And let the fog clear of the events of the last year, go out there and tell our story. So I feel enormously confident about where we’re headed. The only reason we gave more tepid guidance on fourth quarter is just because we didn’t want to go through this again. And when we have floods and this pandemic and the labor issues, you want to be a little more cautious, and that’s what we think we do.

Ben Theurer — Barclays — Analyst

Okay. And as you always say, you’re the biggest critics of your own product and the Beyond 3.0, it was — you talked a lot about it last call, the rollout going into summer season, and obviously, it seems like there was weakness in there. Can you share any direct feedback, customer feedback, the perception of the Beyond 3.0 and what it might need for you to do on innovation as you’ve just talked about innovation going forward?

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Yes. So I think there’s so much noise in retail behavior this past quarter, it would be hard to draw conclusions from that. But if you look at, for example, the awards we’ve been winning, I think we referenced this last time, People Magazine and just got another award yesterday on the burger, call it Nourish Group. Anyway, so a lot of, I think, recognition around the continual march we have toward product improves and around product improvement. So I wouldn’t say there’s any one thing that we’re looking to change on the burger. It gets back to that acronym I was talking about fats or flavor, aroma, appearance and texture. We’re making improvements across all four of those and expect to release even better burger in 2022. So — but no particular element that we’re focused on more than others.

Ben Theurer — Barclays — Analyst

Okay. Perfect. Thank you very much. I’ll leave it here.

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Thanks.

Operator

Our next question is from Jon Anderson with William Blair.

Jon Anderson — William Blair — Analyst

Thank you. Good afternoon. Just a couple of quick ones. Ethan, I was wondering if you with the Foodservice difficulties, largely COVID induced and the push out of some of the rollouts in Foodservice, is it possible that, that is having kind of a second derivative effect on retail demand for your products? I’ve always thought of Foodservice as maybe a great trial vehicle in addition, obviously, to source of sales itself and then a way to kind of generate retail sales for at-home consumption. So is that something you thought about or think could be having an impact on retail demand as well?

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Yes. I mean, absolutely in the sense that — I mean, in a lot of different ways, actually, but the 1 in particular is as we brought on some, I think, significant talent in our marketing department in the last quarter, both on the shopper marketing side and in general marketing. And then we have a terrific head of brand here has been with us for a long time. And this year would not have been the year to launch our national marketing campaign, right, just because we’re going to get so much more out of it as we’re in these large QSRs. And so waiting until that moment to do it is the prudent use of resources.

And so we’ve held off from that. But as you get into 2022, when you start to see some of these further tests and such come to fruition and longer-term deals, you’ll see us make that investment to make sure the consumer knows that they can grab it at this fast food place and this convenience store and in this grocery.

And so yes, there is a kind of synergy that we’re looking to take advantage of as we’re in both outlets — both channels more in a more dominant way. And then I also think this trend around consumers kind of us being fatigued, right, but they’re just going to their usual, they’re going to — they’re getting a lot more fast food than they were in the past because we’re not in those locations right now, that has hurt our trial. And then, of course, you go into the retail environment, we’re not allowed to sample where samples are very award and limited and everything else. It’s — again, it’s a dismal operating environment and the more time we can get between where we kind of were in the third quarter with all the challenges going on and where we expect to be in the near future the better.

Jon Anderson — William Blair — Analyst

Okay. And then you talked about the objective of getting to price parity again within two-and-half years in one of your categories. I’m just wondering what’s the most — I mean what has to happen for you to do that? And I mean, are you committed to that at kind of all costs? Or are there kind of margin objectives or cost-out objectives that you’re going to have to achieve in order to kind of reach that level of price relative to where you sit today?

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Yes. I think the margin is not the area that we’re expecting to pull this from. And I think seeing us kind of manipulate margin in various ways to be more geared toward we want to make sure that this particular launch is successful as it can be. And if we have line of sight to an operating model and the production model where we can restore that 30% plus margin down the road, then you’ll see us play around margin. But over the long run, it’s the things that we’ve talked about. It’s continuing to drive down cost of our materials, which there’s an inflationary pressure across the board. But because we’re a new industry, we’re also getting the benefit of new entrants and people scaling and be able to offer cost reductions over time.

So we have a very big program here. Phil, is leading it with an outside consulting group, and we’re making really good progress. So I’m not backing away from that. I got about two-and-half years to meet it. I think it will be beef, and we’re getting a lot of help too because the commodity pricing on beef is going up. I think the 20-year average is like $2.07, but of course, right now and in the future, we expect it to be considerably higher. So I think we’re well on our way. And I think that’s going to be exciting moment when you can — in fact, some of the products we launch next year, you’ll see us hinted that at price parity. So it’s going to be, I think it would interesting..

Operator

Our next question is from Ken Goldman with JPMorgan.

Ken Goldman — JPMorgan — Analyst

Hi. Thank you. I know this is a tough question to answer. But do you have any best guess as to maybe what your annual sales number might have been excluding the supply issues? Just trying to get a sense for sort of what it would have been if shipments have matched demand, so to speak. And again, I know we’re asking in a general sense because I know it’s so hard to be precise there.

Phil Hardin — Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

This is Phil. I can give you what color is available. So when we launched — when we sent out the release on the 22nd of October, there were really kind of 3 buckets in there. The first was demand. That was the biggest when you’re looking at what happened versus forecasted. And then the second was the kind of operational stuff with weather as kind of the key driver. And so well, it’s definitely been a lot of headaches. I think that part is smaller than that initial bucket of demand. But that’s about as much as we’ve said at this point. And then into this quarter, we’re largely working through the last of the — what we feel are the last of the sort of knock-on effects. And so things definitely are getting kind of back on track at this point. So not an enormous impact but certainly disruptive.

Ken Goldman — JPMorgan — Analyst

Understood. I’ll let it go there. Thanks very much.

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached the end of the question-and-answer session. I would like to turn the call back to Ethan Brown for closing remarks.

Ethan Brown — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Thank you. So as I said, we really are looking to 2022 with a lot of optimism. And the investments we’re making today continue to be focused on that future and not on a sort of more difficult operating period that we’re all experiencing. So I’m every bit as confident as I have been and really look forward to getting back on the line with you guys in a few months here and sharing, I think, will be good results and some good commentary on where we’re headed. So appreciate it. Everyone, stay safe and be in touch soon.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

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