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The Future of Food is Here: Can Plant-Based Meals Enhance Your Portfolio?

Stockhouse Editorial
8 Comments| November 17, 2021

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(Image via Komo Plant Based Foods Inc.)

A market analysis report by Grandview Research valued the global plant-based meat market at $3.3 billion in 2019 and forecast the market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.4% to 2027.

Grocery store shelves and restaurant menus are seeing a broad variety of plant-based foods are showing up, riding the waves of success of oat, soy, and other alternatives to milk, as well as vegan burgers made by big names such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Now more companies — from established brands to emerging upstarts — are looking to get a piece of this pie.

A solid example of how mainstream this has become, Naturally Splendid Enterprises Ltd. (TSX-V: NSP, OTCQB: NSPDF, Forum) has established numerous healthy, functional foods under recognized brands such as Natera Sport, Natera Hemp Foods, CHII, Elevate Me and Woods Wild Bar, and most recently Natera Plant Based Foods, a line of plant-based meat alternatives for the rapidly growing plant-based market segment.

The Coquitlam, BC-based Company has a myriad of new products and line extensions under development that are approaching launch. NSE, through its joint venture Plasm Pharmaceutical, has been approved for conducting a phase 2 clinical trial approved by Health Canada for treatment of COVID-19. NSE has also developed proprietary technologies for the extraction of high-demand, healthy omega 3 and 6 oils from hemp.

NSE contract manufacturers for healthy, functional food products and ingredients focusing on plant-based ingredients. The Company provides contract manufacturing services for many healthy food companies, private labeling a wide variety of nutritional food products destined for global healthy food markets.

Click to enlargeNaturally Splendid’s Natera plant-based chicken alternative is now available in Denny’s restaurants across Canada.
The addition includes two meat-alternative entrees – Natera Seasoned Chick-Un Tenders and Chick-Un Nuggets – in 71 Denny’s and 13 Bar One locations. Bar One, located in BC and Alberta, is a restaurant under the Denny’s Canada brand. Denny’s restaurants are displaying on-premise advertising featuring the entrees in question. Denny’s is also promoting the entrees through its social media channels, which is complementing Naturally Splendid’s own social media awareness programs.

J. Craig Goodwin, Naturally Splendid’s CEO, stated,

“We are proud to see our Natera plant-based products now available at Denny’s and Bar One. I would like to thank Denny’s for their tireless work to make this launch happen. This is a significant milestone for the company and we look forward to providing our premium plant-based alternatives to Denny’s valued customers. We believe we have the best plant-based alternative to chicken and now you can try for yourself at a Denny’s or Bar One restaurant near you.”

Komo Plant Based Foods Inc. (CSE: YUM, OTCQB: KOMOF, Forum) develops, manufactures, markets, and sells a variety of plant-based frozen meals. Having this license supports Komo's aggressive growth plan to expand sales across Canada and into the US.

Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, the premium plant-based food company recently received a Safe Food for Canadians License to export Komo Foods to other countries, including the United States.

Granted under The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations, the license also authorizes Komo to ship food it makes in its commercial kitchen to all provinces and territories in Canada, making it possible for Komo to now enter into agreements with national grocery retailers.

Speaking to investors in a Sept 2021 media release on this aggressive US expansion, Komo Plant Based Foods CEO William White said that the US market represents a huge market opportunity for Komo.

“The transition to plant-based diets from diets rich with animal proteins can have a significant impact on climate change. We are so pleased to give more consumers the ability to make healthy planetary food choices without giving up the comfort, taste and quality of hearty foods they love.”

Komo is currently working with a sales broker experienced in natural food distribution to onboard national grocery chains in Canada and is now in discussions to secure US sales representation.

The concept of modern comfort is incorporated into the packaging design and the team is now designing packaging for the US to comply with the US FDA labelling requirements. Each frozen meal has a shelf life of one year and is prepared with the safest food preparation based on HACCP principles.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is a global leader in regulating food, animal and plant health and safety. The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) is designed to improve food product quality and safety.

To be licensed, companies must have a rigorous food safety program based on HACCP principles. The SFCR gives CFIA the authority to certify all foods for export, as is increasingly required by more foreign countries, streamlining the system, and making export easier for Canadian manufacturers.

Komo’s retail launch in April 2021 has shown strong consumer demand with many reorders from retailers, and one retailer submitting 10 reorders over the past five months. This company is rapidly expanding its retail distribution network and has successfully added dozens of independent and specialty grocers to sell Komo plant based food products in the past two months.

Recent retail additions include Meinhardt's Fine Foods, Larry's Market, Stong’s Market, Vegetarian Butcher, The Juice Truck, Nourish Market and Bean Around the World in Metro Vancouver. Komo food also signed an agreement with an established food manufacturer in Metro Vancouver in late September to produce two lines of its plant-based products.

These products also recently became available throughout the Fairway Market grocery chain, one of Vancouver Island's largest independently owned grocery stores, at all 10 locations.

President and CEO of Komo operating subsidiary, Komo Plant Based Comfort Foods Inc. Jeffrey Ma explained that the demand for these products has been increasing since the company launched earlier this year, and for months the team has been straining to meet the demand from repeat retail orders and from its direct-to-consumer business.

“Commencing production at this new facility allows us to significantly increase our production output, and also frees up Komo’s current facility for focused research and development. We are continuously refining our recipes to improve flavor, nutrient profile, and texture and we are exploring options for different dietary preferences, including gluten-free.”

Poised for strong growth, CEO White also noted that the company’s goal has been to create a solid foundation of loyal consumers locally.

“We have had a very positive response from retailers for local sales. Many of our retail locations are returning to us with consistent reorders as consumers enjoy our delicious plant-based comfort foods. Adding dozens of independent locations gives consumers convenient access to purchase our products while we work on the longer sales cycle of larger grocery chains. We are very excited about pursuing rapid growth this year.”

The roll doesn’t stop there, as the company just reported record plant-based food sales in October 2021 of more than $45,000 (CAD), a 67% increase over the previous month.

Komo stock is one to watch, as it is up 186.6% since this time, last year and 115.0% year-to-date.

For investors looking for a more “grass roots” entrance into the market, here are two companies yet to go public:

CULT Food Science (P: CULT, Forum) is the first-of-its-kind in North America, CULT invests in innovative start-ups, private and early stage cultivated meat and cultured dairy companies around the world. Through CULT, individual investors can gain diversified exposure to private companies in cultivated meat and cultured dairy.

FUTURE BURGER is a women-lead team of foodies, nutritionists, and entrepreneurs. Creators of the Future Burger Grill, this appliance is geared towards cooking and grilling non-meat patties to perfection and works to enhance the taste by seasoning the patties with flavour pods during the cooking process.

For more, visit myfutureburger.com.

It is clear that restaurants smell opportunity and are jumping onto the plant-based / cultured meat bandwagon with both feet. It isn’t too late for investors to whet their appetite in this market and these companies are but a few worth which to deepen your due diligence.


FULL DISCLOSURE: Naturally Splendid Enterprises Ltd., Komo Plant Based Foods Inc., CULT Food Science, and FUTURE BURGER are clients of Stockhouse Publishing.


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