NEW YORK, Nov. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- While the average consumer is not likely to go vegan any time soon, data shows that consumers are eating fewer animal products on average. Meat consumption is down by one third since its peak in 1970, and dairy sales are projected to decline by 27 percent between 2013 and 2023. Meanwhile, the market for plant-based alternatives is surging at a frantic pace. Consumers are now more conscious of the effects of over-consumption of animal products on their health, as well as the impact of these industries on the environment, among other factors. Whatever the reason, the shift has created a massive opportunity for companies like Else Nutrition Holdings Inc. (TSXV:BABY) (OTCQX:BABYF) (FSE:0YL), The Very Good Food Company Inc (CSE:VERY) (OTCQB:VRYYF), and Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) who are producing plant-based foods. Meanwhile, legacy food producers like Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) are working to keep up and ingredient producers like Bunge Limited (NYSE:BG) stand to benefit as well.
Else Nutrition Pioneers Plant-Based Infant Nutrition
Many parents looking to reduce their consumption of animal products are also thinking about their children's health when they make these decisions. As more people make a conscious decision to reduce the amount of animal products that they consume, they can incorporate that mindset into every product that they buy. For new parents, this can mean starting their children off on a plant-based diet themselves. The global infant formula market is estimated to reach US$99 billion by 2024. Combine that market with the plant-based market and you get Else Nutrition Holdings Inc. (TSXV:BABY) (OTCQX:BABYF), the first company to target the baby formula segment of the plant-based market with a 100 percent non-soy, non-dairy, plant-based baby formula. Else's formula contains all the nutrition of human breast milk and has been endorsed by leading US pediatricians and nutritionists.
Else's plant-based formula launched in the United States in August of this year. The company launched its products for direct-to-consumer online sales via its e-store in August, and on Amazon.com in September. The company's products have so far listed in five US retail chains, including one of the largest natural food retail chains in the country for a total reach of 390 stores in 25 states. Else Nutrition plans to have its products on US store shelves in the fourth quarter of this year. Else announced in October that the company had successfully completed a second manufacturing run of its products and that it plans to commence a three-times-larger third run in November.
Plant-Based Products Taking the Food Industry By Storm
The shift towards plant-based alternatives has opened the food market to new players, and created an opportunity for fast growth in a rapidly expanding space. Canadian plant-based foods company The Very Good Food Company Inc (CSE:VERY) (OTCQB:VRYYF) joined the plant-based meat alternatives market with its initial public offering on June 16. In October, The Very Good Food Company announced that it had formed a new wholesale distribution partnership with UNFI Canada to bring the company's products into more stores throughout Western Canada. Also in October, the company partnered with actress and animal rights activist Pamela Anderson to bring awareness to meat alternatives and boost the company's profile.
Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) is the company that is credited with kicking off the plant-based food market's explosion. Since its initial public offering in May 2019, Beyond has become a household name. Beyond Meat products are now available at major fast-food chains like Burger King, Subway, and A&W. Like The Very Good Food Company, Beyond has gained celebrity endorsement. Rap icon Snoop Dogg has signed on as an ambassador for the company and has told media that he has snuck the meat alternative into his own family's meals.
As the plant-based food market grows, and begins to eat into sales of traditional meat and dairy products, legacy food companies are looking to adapt. Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN), the largest meat company in the United States, announced in June last year that the company would be dipping into the plant-based meat alternative market with the introduction of its Raised & Rooted brand.
The impact of the plant-based food market can be seen further up the supply chain as well. Agribusiness and food company Bunge Ltd. (NYSE:BG) has announced its own portfolio of plant-based meat alternative products. The company also produces raw ingredients like soy, grains, and oilseeds used in the production of various meat alternatives, so the company has a lot to gain from the growth of this market.
Whether they are doing it for moral reasons, health reasons, or just following the trends, consumers are eating less meat than they have in decades prior, and the rapidly growing market that has popped up as a result is creating opportunities for companies like Else Nutrition Holdings to fill new niches in the plant-based food industry.
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