Ocado weathers driver pay storm while Beyond's shares sizzle on likeness to beefburgers

By John Reynolds on Friday 27 August 2021

Ocado weathers driver pay storm while Beyond's shares sizzle on likeness to beefburgers
Image source: delivery driver/Pixabay
CommentaryFood DeliveryGrocery DeliveryPlant-Based FoodTech

Ocado's shares were up in the week, despite a report linking it to drivers being paid less than the minimum wage, while shares in Beyond Meat were up amid a report that scientists said its burgers were the beefiest-smelling veggie burgers to buy.

Ocado’s shares climbed 6.7 per cent to 2,076p in the week ending August 27, despite a report in the media that drivers delivering groceries for Ocado were earning less than minimum wage.

The report in the Observer newspaper said the drivers, who deliver orders for the online retailer’s speedy delivery service, Ocado Zoom, were previously guaranteed a wage of £14 of per hour.

But the drivers were not employed directly by Ocado and say their income plummeted after the online grocer bought in a new delivery partner, Ryde, in June this year.

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), which represents the drivers, said Ocado should take responsibility for the loyalty of workers who worked through lockdown.

“These drivers are key workers who risked their lives during the pandemic delivering vital supplies for Ocado but are now seeing their pay slashed by a company that has seen profits skyrocket,” said Alex Marshall, the union’s president.

Meanwhile, shares in Beyond Meat were up 2.6 per cent to $120.37 after scientists said that its plant-based burger was the beefiest-smelling veggie burger to buy.

Researchers compared the aromas released by cooking a real beefburger with eight brands of plant-based burgers, to find out which managed to mirror the smell of cooking meat most closely

“How do you make plant taste like meat? That was my interest,” said doctor Lili Zyzak from Eastern Kentucky University. 

Beyond Meat’s burger was a clear winner, doctor Zyzak said, with high levels of fatty compounds similar to that of a real beefburger.

“A regular beef hamburger has high levels of fatty notes octanal and nonanal,” she told the i newspaper.

“[Meat] Beyond is really high in those compounds. That drives the Beyond aroma towards the beef hamburger.” 

Shares in Aker BioMarine, though, fell 4.62 per cent to NOK49.60 (Norwegian Krone), in the week after it expanded its product range with the launch of Superba SC40, a Halal-certified krill oil product.

“As Aker BioMarine continues to grow globally, we are seeing an increasing demand for a Halal-certified product and we believe Superba SC40 is an ideal solution to meet this demand,” said Tim de Haas, EVP Human Health & Nutrition, Aker BioMarine.

“We are passionate about producing the best krill oil in the world and with this new spec we can appeal to a wider demographic of customers and consumers globally both in new and existing geographies”.