Chronicle Journal: Finance

Massive IPOs and M&A Activity Reveal Market's Appetite for Plant-based Stocks

NEW YORK, July 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The plant-based investment craze may have begun back when Beyond Meat launched its IPO in 2018, but the market has shown no signs of slowing since. Investments like plant-based chicken company SIMULATE's $50 million funding round, which included music legend and entrepreneur Jay-Z, and Oatly's (NASDAQ: OTLY) recent $1.4 billion IPO further cement plant-based food's growing role in modern society. As investors take note of these developments, companies like Else Nutrition (TSXV: BABY) (OTCQX: BABYF) could potentially be an attractive candidate for an acquisition by one of the larger players in the industry, after Else's successful launch of its plant-based nutrition for toddlers. Other companies such as Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE: CAG), ADM (NYSE: ADM), and Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) are also following lead with their recent launches and lab openings to meet consumers demands worldwide. As the ongoing rapid growth continues for the plant-based industry, the market is projected to be a hundred times larger by 2050.

Else Nutrition Significantly Expands Retail Footprint and Sales Revenue

Following the success of plant-based nutrition for toddlers, Else Nutrition (TSXV: BABY) (OTCQX: BABYF) has surged in the plant-based market over the past several months. Earlier in the year, Else Nutrition created a presence for itself in 350 Sprouts Farmers Market stores with the first ever plant-based toddler nutrition product. Else Nutrition, which aims to provide pure, clean, and sustainable nutritional alternatives for children, achieved Q1 2021 revenues of C$1.135 million, an 90% growth over revenues of C$598,000 in Q4 2020 and an increase of 282% vs. revenues over C$297,000 in Q1 2020.

"I am very proud of our achievements this quarter. We continued delivering rapid growth in our business while we successfully launched our first retail stores and started working with the largest US natural food distributors," said Hamutal Yitzhak, Else Nutrition CEO.

After successfully completing the first commercial production of Else Nutrition's second product, Complete Nutrition for Kids (3+ years; in powder form), the company launched on three online platforms – Thrive Market, a leading natural food e-tailer with 500,000 subscribers; iHerb, a US-based international online platform that serves 180 countries; and PlantX, a new plant-based e-tailer. With days of launch, Else Nutrition's its plant-based protein shakes for kids reached Amazon's top #1 and #2 positions in hot new releases in the baby and toddler nutritional shakes category.

Else Nutrition has also continued to bolster its retail presence, with its Else Plant-Based Complete Nutrition for Toddlers now listed on 1000+ retail outlets, thanks to the recent expansion into 100 independent stores and food co-ops, and in over 700 retail outlets including Sprouts Farmers Market, Big-Y, Raley's, Natural Grocers, AFS, Haggen, PCC, Mother's Markets and many dozens of independent stores.

Top Companies Serving Growing Consumer Demand for Plant-Based Alternatives

Swedish oat milk company Oatly (NASDAQ: OTLY), which entered the public markets in May 2021 with an IPO price of $17 per share for gross proceeds up to $1.6 billion, has continued expanding its reach. Prior to its listing, the company announced its plans for its new UK-based factory, which is expected to launch in Q1 2023. The new factory will be able to produce 300 million litres of oat drink per year at launch, with the capacity to grow to 450 million litres, making it one of the largest plant-based dairy factories in the world.

Leading North American branded food company Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE: CAG) is meeting market demand by introducing new plant-based offerings as part of its extensive summer line-up. The company's collection of frozen meals includes brands such as Healthy Choice, Banquet, Marie Callender's, and Hungry Man. From its keto-friendly Healthy Choice Zero meal to its Gardein Plant-Based Chili, Conagra boldly states that there's something for everyone on the menu.

While North Americans are indulging in the latest plant-based products, ADM (NYSE: ADM) has recently launched its new cutting-edge plant-based lab in Singapore to meet growing demand in the Asia-Pacific region. ADM's new lab, which features experts in proteins and texturing ingredients and flavor specialists, will give the company the ability to test flavors, textures, fats and binding characteristics in-house and accelerate product development for customers.

With barbeque season in full swing, Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) decided to expand its portfolio of Raised & Rooted and has introduced plant-based options including their Raised & Rooted plant-based burger, ground protein, bratwurst sausages, and italian sausages.A month later, Tyson launched its new Plant-Based Bites to the market.

There are no signs of the plant-based industry slowing down, offering plant-based food companies like Else Nutrition the opportunity to capitalize on the growing demands from consumers seeking healthy alternatives for themselves and their families.

For more information on Else Nutrition, click here.

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