Investments Continue to Pour into the Rapidly Growing Plant-Based Food Market - The demand for plant-based foods has sent the market soaring to new heights over the last year and is expected to continue upwards as consumers opt for meat and dairy-free alternatives. Ever since Beyond Meat's (NASDAQ:BYND) groundbreaking IPO last year, more and more plant-based food companies are following suit and investors are ready with their wallets. Investments into US plant-based meat, egg, and dairy companies hit a new record in 2019 and the trend has continued into 2020, with $1.1 billion of venture investments pouring in within the first six months of the year. Changing consumer needs has led meat industry giants like Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE:HRL) and massive grocery store chains like Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) to jump on the plant-based bandwagon in a bid to gain a slice of the growing market, while companies like Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (NYSE:ADM) are expanding their portfolio of meatless offerings. Meanwhile, pure-play plant-based company Else Nutrition (TSXV:BABY) (OTCQX:BABYF) is focused on growing its stake in the burgeoning market.
Else Nutrition is a Tel-Aviv-based plant-based food and nutrition company that has continued to take strides towards developing its brand and award-winning, globally patented products, launching into the North American market and manufacturing its products quickly and efficiently to meet expected demand.
Launching the First Fully Certified USDA Organic, Clean Label, Plant-Based Complete Nutritional Drink for Toddlers in the US
In August, Else Nutrition officially launched its plant-based complete toddler nutrition to the US market, which is being made at an infant-grade US manufacturing site and has been endorsed by a board of leading US and international nutritionists and pediatricians. A month later, the company expanded its reach by launching its toddler nutrition formula to US customers on Amazon and it couldn't have come at a better time. Amazon, which is the world's largest online retailer, saw its online grocery sales triple in Q2 2020 due to COVID-19 fears and stay-at-home orders and expects this upward trend to continue throughout Q3 and beyond as cases continue to rise.
Else Nutrition also added celebrity author, podcast host, and parenting expert Hilaria Baldwin as its brand ambassador in September as part of its US launch marketing efforts. As part of the collaboration, Baldwin will help the company through TV interviews, creative videos, and social media content that highlights her findings and journey as a plant-based mother.
Else Nutrition has received a ton of investor interest over the last year and a half, starting with a C$7.5 million investment from Canaccord Genuity last June. Then in March 2020, the company received a strategic investment of C$5.75 million from Health and Happiness International (H&H Group) as part of a private placement for gross proceeds of C$8 million. Six months later, H&H Group increased its strategic investment by C$4.0 million and is now leading the company's latest C$25.7 million financing round.
Food Industry Giants Continue to Expand Plant-Based Offerings
Veganism and vegetarianism have been rapidly rising in popularity in recent years due to growing awareness around health, climate change, and animal welfare. Beyond Meat's (NASDAQ:BYND) epic entrance into the public market has also created a major shift in investor interest towards plant-based food stocks and the market is now expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.9% from 2020 to 2027 to hit $74.2 billion by 2027.
Naturally, food and beverage companies are shifting gears to meet the changing needs of consumers, and grocery shelves have continued to expand their plant-based offerings.
National supermarket chain Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) just announced that it is adding 50 plant-based items to its Simple Truth product line, including oat milk ice cream, non-dairy cheese, and plant-based chik'n. The Simple Truth line was launched last September with over 20 products, including meatless burger patties, non-dairy sour cream, and vegan chocolate chip cookie dough, and generated $2.5 billion in revenue in 2019.
Meat industry giant Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE:HRL) has also expanded into the meatless alternatives market with the launch of its Happy Little Plants brand last September. Last month, the company added Happy Little Plants(R) pepperoni style topping and plant-based crumbles, which made their debut at select Papa Murphy's pizza locations in the US.
Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (NYSE:ADM) is another major food producer that has been adding more plant-based items to its roster. In September, the company announced the launch of its Prolite MeatTEX textured wheat protein, Arcon T textured pea proteins, and Prolite MeatXT non-textured wheat protein.
However, when it comes to plant-based infant and toddler nutrition, Else Nutrition is in a league of its own with its innovative products.
For more information about Else Nutrition (TSXV:BABY) (OTCQX:BABYF), please visit this link.
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