Case Study: A MarketWatch Reporter Breaks Down The Business Of Beyond Meat

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October 10, 2019

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A Beyond Meat Burger (Source: Beyond Meat Press Kit)

PHILADELPHIA, Penn. — Tonya Garcia has been a reporter at MarketWatch covering retail and consumer-oriented companies for the past four years. She was previously a business editor for MadameNoire, a website targeting African American women with a range of content from personal finance to economics, politics, education, lifestyle, and entertainment. Her beat at MarketWatch includes everything from Walmart and Amazon, to grocery stores, and fashion. Garcia also has a master’s degree from NYU’s School of Journalism. She completed her degree 15 years ago.

Her recent piece, “Here’s how Beyond Meat can lose the lead in the plant-based meat category to Tyson,” highlighted what the future holds for the plant-based meat market, according to research analysts familiar with the matter.

Conception Of The Idea / The Pitch: 

The idea for the article came naturally to Garcia, by paying attention to how stocks are performing while being in tune with consumer trends “Right now, being healthy and watching what you eat is important to people,” Garcia explained. “Consideration about the environment and climate change too go hand in hand. Real consumer trends come into play for these topics.” 

Reporting:

Reporting for MarketWatch starts with paying attention to how stocks are performing in the market.“This comes naturally for reporters,” Garcia stated about reporting her consumer-focused beat. By having the Beyond Meat stock soar since going public in May, Garcia has been closely following the company and other plant-based meat companies, which plays a major role in her reporting. Paired with the public’s interest in health and wellness, this makes plant-based meat an important topic to report on.

Writing: 

Garcia begins the article with some background on how Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are growing, with attribution to an important source who gave credibility and evidence. Garcia explained that the “backbone” of her article came from analyst Arun Sundaram of the research company, CFRA. 

“This is also how the headline is constructed,” she said, adding that she relied on the source’s knowledge of the topic. 

Writing the rest came naturally to Garcia, based on her prior knowledge of the space. She also added in context on competition from brands like Tyson Foods and the brand Raised & Rooted. By mentioning different companies in the industry, and how they can overtake Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger, she adds perspective and context for readers. Garcia wastes no time and writes as few words as possible, alluding to her days in NYU’s Journalism program and realizing “every word should work,” Garcia said. She also explained that, since her MarketWatch audience is solely online, her writing must have “internet attention span” and there was “no time is wasted” when reporting.

Publication: 

Once her writing is complete, Garcia sends her piece to her editor with a clean copy ready for publication.“MarketWatch works very quickly, there’s not too much time to fuss about the story,” she said, “I always try to get the article to my editor in pretty good shape.” She also said her editor juggles numerous other tasks, from editing other reporters’ articles to writing their own stories. Since MarketWatch is strictly published online, her newsroom moves at a much quicker pace than a print publication. Garcia’s article was conceived, reported, written, and published all within a day–showing the quick and talented skills it takes to be a retail and consumer-oriented beat reporter

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