The industry that makes plant-based meat has hit a snag. When Beyond Meat released its plant-based “steak tips” last week, it was still reeling from a $97 million net loss in the second quarter. Layoffs are planned before the end of the year. That’s in line with a Deloitte study that came out at the end of September. It found that sales of “alternative proteins” had stopped growing and started going backward in 2021 and 2022. Even though a leveling off was expected after a year of explosive growth, the report comes to a more worrying conclusion: the demand for alternative proteins in the US may have already reached a ceiling. On the other hand, consumer demand for plant-based milk is soaring, with the industry now worth more than $38.9 billion globally. The market is projected to rise at CAGR of 15.5% between 2022 and 2029 to reach $123.2 billion. The Planting Hope Company Inc. (TSXV:MYLK) is well positioned to gain market share of the plant-based milk market, while companies like Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND), Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN), The Very Good Food Company Inc. (TSXV:VERYV) (NASDAQ:VGFC), and Conagra Brands Inc (NYSE:CAG) continue releasing new products for the plant-based meat market despite dropping consumer interest.
The Planting Hope Company Inc. (TSXV:MYLK) (OTCQB:MYLKF) produces health-based foods and snacks in the United States and Canada. It develops, launches, and scales nutritious consumer packaged plant-based food and beverages that are distributed in retailers across the United States and Canada, including Whole Foods, Krogers, Sprouts Farmers Market, Safeway and Amazon.
Since the beginning of 2022, The Planting Hope Company has continued to effectively execute on its business plan, including expanding core products in key channels, and setting up new products and distribution that will achieve scale in 2023. Since January, the company has added over 3,700 new grocery retail doors and more than 9,600 new total distribution points (TDP) in key retailers. Aggregate grocery retail TDP is now over 50,000 placements across product lines and brands.
On November 10, Planting Hope announced that Dot, the largest foodservice redistributor in North America, will be stocking its shelves with Original RightRice® Veggie Rice and multi-award-winning Hope and Sesame® Barista Blend Sesamemilk.
“As a company, Planting Hope is committed to expansion in the foodservice channel from restaurants to B&I commissaries to espresso cafés with our wide range of plant-based, sustainable products. We’re thrilled to provide more nutritious and delicious options to all foodservice operators, in the sizes and formats most convenient for their operations,” said The Planting Hope Company’s co-founder and CEO Julia Stamberger. “Foodservice is an excellent channel where consumers can encounter our brands and products. We’re developing exposure and trial to our brands which consumers can then buy at their local grocer and bring into their homes. With their ability to reach any foodservice customer in the United States with as little as one case of our product, Dot Foods is the critical lynchpin to our opening up distribution to all foodservice operators and scaling our business in this channel.”
The company also announced that RightRice is being added to the topping menu at 28 Rōti Mediterranean quick-service restaurants beginning this month. Rōti is a leading fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant chain with 34 locations across the Midwest that serves fresh food made with care from real, responsibly-sourced ingredients with bold Mediterranean-inspired flavors.
Two days earlier, Planting Hope announced that it will be launching three shelf-stable Hope and Sesame® SKUs in 382 Loblaw stores across Canada in November 2022, which represents 1,146 new Total Distribution Points in Loblaw locations.
The Planting Hope Company announced on September 28 the addition of top New York City area food service distributor Baldor Specialty Foods, as well as increased visibility to the trade and consumers.
Baldor has expanded its product line with Hope and Sesame® Barista Blend Sesamemilk, which will be available to Baldor customers in the New York City Metro area by early October 2022. Baldor provides a curated list of 6,000 food and beverage items to over 4,600 distribution locations in New York City’s five boroughs. Restaurants (60%), including 70+ Michelin-starred restaurants, Retail (15%), and Foodservice (25%), including hospitals, corporate campuses, and schools, are Baldor’s primary clients.
The Planting Hope Company also recently announced that Kroger, the largest grocery retailer in the US, is adding three new Hope and Sesame® Non-GMO Sesamemilk shelf-stable SKUs to its plant-based milk grocery aisle in 681 stores nationwide.
Food Companies Are Launching New Plant-Based Products
Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) recently launched Beyond Steak, a new product that combines the juicy, tender, and delicious bite of seared steak tips with the nutritional and environmental benefits of plant-based meat. Beyond Steak will be available at Kroger and Walmart locations nationwide, as well as select Albertsons and Ahold divisions and other retailers. Beyond Meat enables consumers to eat the foods they love without sacrificing taste, nutrition, or sustainability. The brand continues to popularize plant-based meat through a portfolio of industry-leading products. Beyond Steak is a flavorful and satisfying experience for meat lovers and flexitarians, seared to perfection and chopped into bite-sized pieces. Beyond Steak delivers the tender bite and savory taste consumers crave while providing nutritional benefits such as being low in saturated fat and having 0 mg of cholesterol with no added antibiotics or hormones.
Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN), the largest US producer of animal meat by sales, first introduced its first plant-based products in 2019. Last year the company’s Raised & Rooted™ brand expanded its plant-based offerings with three new products to meet the increased demand for plant-based protein options. The new plant-based burger patties, Bratwurst and Italian sausages, and ground are now available and have 75% less saturated fat than traditional options.
The Very Good Food Company Inc. (TSXV:VERY.V) (NASDAQ:VGFC) announced on September 22 that seven of its best-selling Very Good Butchers products are now available in a Variety Pack online through a major, membership-only wholesale chain. The agreement significantly expands Canadian consumers’ access to VERY GOOD‘s natural, plant-based food products. The Taco Stuff’er, Very Good Pepperoni, award-winning mmm Meatballs, Flippin Burger, Cajun Sausage, Breakfast Sausage, and Bratwurst Sausage are all included in the Variety Pack. This arrangement is consistent with the Company’s strategy of focusing its efforts on scaling wholesale and food service channels while allowing customers to continue to enjoy the benefits of online shopping by using this wholesaler’s online platform. Through this arrangement, the size and reach of this particular wholesaler will increase the visibility of VERY GOOD‘s products across Canada.
In the first quarter of 2023, Conagra Brands Inc (NYSE:CAG) reported an increase of 9.5%, while organic net sales increased by 9.7%. The quarter’s operating margin was (0.7%), while the adjusted operating margin was 13.7%. For Q1 2023, the diluted loss per share was $0.16, while the adjusted earnings per share (EPS) was $0.57. In the quarter, reported and organic net sales for the Refrigerated & Frozen segment increased 9.6% to $1.2 billion. The price mix increased by 12.1% in the quarter, while volume decreased by 2.5%. Favorability in inflation-driven pricing drove the price/mix increase. The volume decline was caused primarily by the elasticity effect of inflation-driven pricing. During the quarter, the Company increased its market share in frozen single-serve meals, plant-based protein, and frozen breakfasts. Conagra reaffirmed its fiscal 2023 guidance, which includes growth in organic net sales of 4% to 5% over fiscal 2022, approximately 15% adjusted operating margin, and a 1% to 5% increase in adjusted EPS over fiscal 2022.
For the 2022 holiday season, Planting Hope has launched two new limited-edition flavors of RightRice® Veggie Rice: Vegan Brown Butter Sage RightRice® and Holiday Stuffing RightRice®.
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