TITUSVILLE, Fla., Dec. 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Apple Rush Company, Inc. (OTC PINK: APRU) (the "company") initiates communication to shareholders with an update on 2021 and for upcoming 2022. Tony Torgerud, CEO of Apple Rush, stated, "2021 was a challenging environment for most business. The continuing pandemic has proven to hurt small business with supply chain issues, manufacturing capacity issues, and inflation that is hurting profitability. However, we are continuing to move forward with our three-pronged path of acquisition, manufacturing, and distribution of our core brands."
I would like to thank every shareholder that has stuck by us throughout 2021, as it was a tough year in many aspects. We appreciate the support, and although our stock price hasn't showed it, we have had some good volume being held in strong hands, and the price reached a 52-week high of $.0169 in March. The pandemic has proven to be a greater challenge than we thought. We started the year with the ability to manufacture and produce our beverages whenever needed and had the capacity to produce our beverages on demand. However, shortly after, the capacity tightened up quickly through the fall due to shortages of equipment with our manufacturing partners. During this time, we have been working on several acquisitions and joint ventures to add to our asset base and increase the bandwidth of our company with additional qualified people.
Our acquisition program has been moving along as planned but has been difficult with our stock price being held artificially low, making acquisitions expensive. We don't want to use cash to make acquisitions and we don't want to overpay via shares either. It is difficult convincing potential targets that our stock is worth more than its current price, so we ask for additional support from shareholders to hold onto our stock and not create consistent liquidity for day traders, market makers, and others interested in holding our stock price down. We are still in a developmental stage, a company that has a lot of potential with the products and technologies that we have developed. If we continue to execute our plans, we will have the success that we have all looked forward to.
On top of the pandemic, we fought a large frivolous lawsuit for most of 2021, which was related to our acquisition of the active ingredient Agathos Active. We felt the case was over earlier this year after the supplier dropped the case. However, the supplier decided to pursue the case on a pro se basis when their attorney wouldn't. The supplier used an address that wasn't accurate to serve the lawsuit through the mail, knowing that we wouldn't be served. This method of service caused a default judgment to be entered that we successfully overturned right before Thanksgiving of 2021. Unfortunately, these kinds of suits cost an enormous amount of time and money to defend and overturn. This capital could have been used for growth within APRU. This frivolous lawsuit hindered and limited our communication to shareholders over the past year, due to recommendations by council. Now that this lawsuit is behind us, we intend to intensify the flow of communication on the happenings of APRU to our loyal shareholders.
This year we were successful in getting our own production and warehousing facilities 100% compliant with both FDA and FDACS certifications. These regulatory accomplishments allow us to do work with any food production or development for our hemp products. We will be able to be fully integrated, taking APRU to a seed to sale organization to ensure our customers are buying the best available product on the market, having the highest efficacy through our proprietary water-soluble beverages, giving us the advantage of complete control on pricing, quality, and timing.
Diversification in our business lines by the acquisition of hemp farms and extraction capabilities will take us to the next level. With that being said, we have come to terms on a non-certified organic compliant growing operation in Florida and another large hemp operation in the Midwest. Announcements will be made as soon as we close on these transactions. These two transactions will bring additional proficient, and experienced people to our team, which will give us additional support as needed.
On top of the hemp farms, we are working on the acquisition of a brewery in the Midwest and are in negotiations to build our own facility here in Florida. Acquiring an existing operation that is fully licensed in the Midwest will allow us to save on transportation costs of our products, resulting in more profitable distribution. Building this facility in Florida will give us the ability to control our destiny and make our products ready for market when needed. I believe it is critical to our success to have as much capacity as we can in place for the major growth of the hemp industry over the next five years.
Attending the CBD Expo and Delta 8 Expo speaking circuit, I was able to network with well-known experts and realize the opportunity that we have with Element Brands. Our products were enjoyed by most, having retailers, suppliers, and buyers approve of the flavor, taste profile, and design. I will continue to attend more of these Expos in 2022 by having display booths at each event that we participate in, which will give our products the additional exposure that we need to grow our brands Nationally.
We have two kratom beverages currently in the market that we have developed for David Reynolds Derian, CEO of Botanaway and founder of Speciosa Soda, and Michael Liberatore, founder of Black Label Kratom lemon tea. These products are both innovative and well received, generating solid retail price-points and profits for both the supplier and retailer. Our technologies in producing kratom products from extracts sets these beverages apart from the products made from raw kratom leaf powder.
We have returned to St. Louis with Apple Rush and Element Brands. We have spent a lot of time nurturing our new marketing plan in St. Louis. Apple Rush and Element Brands that have been sampled with an exciting group of entrepreneurs, and it was an overwhelming success, which has given us an opportunity that we believe is going to enable us to finalize some of the projects that we have been working on over the last year. Also, we are looking forward to working with a morning radio show in St. Louis to test an expansion of our direct-to-consumer online capabilities. Stay tuned for more details on this exciting venture.
After another long year of dealing with paperwork and regulations from the PMDA (Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency), Apple Rush distribution in Japan is still in the works, as well as other parts of Asia, and we will continue to push the needle. The samples that were received remained to be a huge hit within the Asian community. We are seeking distribution through a company that places their products in vending machines throughout Japan and the outlining regions. We are close to the approval of the Apple Rush label, and detailed updates will be given when paperwork has been permitted.
We look forward to the final development and joint launch of Hard Rush seltzer and ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails – malt based at 5%. Special low-proof products – including distilled, mixed, or fermented products which contain less than 6% alcohol by volume (ABV), may be purchased by licensed vendors holding a 2COP or 2APS license (that is, a beer or wine license). This is what allows spirits based RTD cocktails to be sold in convenience stores and grocery stores. According to Grand View Research, "the global RTD cocktails market is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.1% from 2020 through 2027". These products will give us additional ability to open new accounts, while helping overcome some resistance of our hemp-based beverages.
I am confident that as we come out of this pandemic and the supply chain straightens out, we will successfully grow our business into a sustainable, profitable, and fully integrated operation. With the help of our distributing partners, such as Southern Eagle Distributing, North Florida Sales, Champagne Beverage, and UMIG, we intend to hit the market hard. Southern Eagle recently acquired Brown Distributing Company in West Palm Beach, Florida, which will also help expand our footprint in the south. We have a marketing program we will launch that will bring all of our brands to the forefront, having regular opportunities for events, sampling, and sales. On top of our core beverages, we have plans to launch a completely new line of edible chews, as well as the addition of raw flower.
I look forward to expanding our footprint in 2022 by growing all of our product lines. I have personally guaranteed many of our financing packages over the last couple of years so we didn't have to take on convertible debt, as that would cause our share price to be held back at the will of the debt holders. We still remain committed to having zero convertible debt and I continue to hold the belief that raising capital through friends and family, who see our long-term goals, to still be the best way to move forward. We are evaluating a Regulation A capital raise and will utilize that program when we feel that it will be most beneficial.
Thank you for your time and understanding. We can't do it without the support of our existing partners, and loyal shareholders. We will continue to work hard on our core products, be innovative, and launch new products that we believe the market will love. Cheers to 2022!
David A. Torgerud
About The Apple Rush Co., Inc.
The Apple Rush Company, Inc., through its subsidiary APRU, LLC, is a distributor of cpg products under the trademarked Apple Rush brand and other labels. The Apple Rush brand has more than 40 years of existence in the natural beverage industry. As a historical leader in the organic and natural beverage sector our goal is to also become the leader in the distribution of anhydrous hemp oil products nationwide. For more information, please go to www.applerush.com.
About APRU, LLC: APRU, LLC focuses on the development and sales of all natural Apple Rush sparkling juices, and research and development, of premium hemp extracts that contain a broad range of cannabinoids and natural hemp derivatives and other active ingredients such as kratom, kava, and ginseng. www.aprubrands.com, www.applerush.com, www.element-brands.com, or on Twitter @RealAPRU_News.
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SOURCE Apple Rush Co., Inc.