NEW YORK, May 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The exploding interest in all things plant-based has taken root around the world. And the trend is about much more than eliminating meat from concerned consumers' diets. For millions of people, choosing plant-based products is a holistic lifestyle that reflects not only healthy eating habits but a commitment to social and sustainability values as well. As proof, recent research shows that ads highlighting the social costs of meat consumption are more influential in swaying a person to a plant-based meat alternative than those emphasizing taste. The concept of an all-encompassing way of living is at the heart of PlantX Life Inc. (CSE: VEGA) (Frankfurt: WNT1) (OTCQB: PLTXF) (Profile), a rapidly growing company founded by serial entrepreneur Sean Dollinger as the digital face of the plant-based community and a one-stop shop for all things plant-based. The focus on putting people and planet first is a common thread running through the plant-based foods sector, a philosophy embraced by consumers to drive growth for manufacturers such as Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND), Tattooed Chef Inc. (NASDAQ: TTCF), Laird Superfood Inc. (NYSE: LSF) and Burcon Nutrascience Corp. (OTCQB: BUROF).
- The plant-based food market is forecast to grow 11.9% annually, reaching $74.2 billion by 2027.
- PlantX is emerging as leader in the space as the vegan Amazon, offering a huge array of products for plant-minded consumers.
- Partnerships are key with tennis superstar Venus Williams and two popular vegan chefs joining the PlantX team.
- Riding the wave of plant-based passion, PlantX posted triple-digit increases in revenues during its first three quarters.
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The Powerful Impact of Partnerships
Innovative and complementary partnerships are crucial in growth and performance in the emerging plant-based space. The market opportunity is certainly there; Meticulous Research forecasts 11.9% CAGR, resulting in the plant-based food market totaling $74.2 billion by 2027. For partnerships to succeed, companies must collaborate with experts from diverse fields such as culinary, sports, nutrition, e-commerce and others to capture share and promote market adoption. Deepening ties between these industries fosters longevity and allows companies to offer services and solutions that help their customers and other businesses become more successful.
Throughout the industry, plant-based partnerships are disrupting the food market's status quo with a theme of sustainability to answer existential questions about feeding a growing population with dwindling resources. To make the point, consider the potential impact of just one partnership to influence the market: the Humane Society of the United States recently teamed up with food-service juggernaut Aramark, which serves 500 million meals to approximately 5 million students at colleges, universities and K-12 schools each year.
What if just a small percentage of those socially and environmentally aware students switch to plant-based alternatives? Add to that the hundreds of millions of sports fans and thousands of health-care facilities and other businesses Aramark caters to across 22 countries; the potential of that single partnership is staggering.
Growing awareness of the benefits of plant-based foods by any company plays into the wheelhouse of PlantX Life Inc. (CSE: VEGA) (Frankfurt: WNT1) (OTCQB: PLTXF), a company that is also extremely active in partnering and building market awareness. PlantX is clearly differentiated from e-commerce sites such as Amazon — although it has been called the "vegan Amazon," insomuch that it offers a huge array of plant-based products. There is no wondering or guessing. If PlantX sells it, it is plant-based.
Launched only last March, PlantX's e-commerce site already offers more than 10,000 plant-based products ranging from consumer packaged goods for people and pets to live-plant home delivery, with new products being added either under PlantX's own brand or one of the 360-plus other brands available on the site. The online portal is a cornerstone of the company, but it is more than just a sales channel. The powerful digital platform provides a single, invaluable resource where PlantX provides education and builds a community that aligns perfectly with the psyche of the plant-based lifestyle consumer.
Household Names Line Up with PlantX
To achieve its goal of being a key leader in the plant-based space, PlantX is creating strategic partnerships that help create a multidimensional team of experts that offers a wide variety of services, products and knowledge to its growing community. To that end, the enterprise is being built and fortified on partnerships with top nutritionists, chefs and brands.
The upstart has attracted top names in their respective fields who want to be part of what is happening. For instance, tennis champion and entrepreneur Venus Williams recently invested in PlantX, while also signing on as a PlantX ambassador and advocate for a plant-based lifestyle.
Top vegan chefs have also joined the team. Chef Matthew Kenney, the author of 12 cookbooks and the founder of dozens of vegan restaurants, came on last month as chief culinary officer. At the same time, PlantX also announced a five-year partnership with Kenney's plant-based lifestyle brand, MK Cuisine Global (MKC), as well as the intention to acquire MKC's California-based vegan store, New Deli.
Kenney will be able to collaborate with Chef Anne Thornton, who partnered with the company in March for the purpose of creating a new iteration of her famous Plant Reset program to be branded PlantXReset meals. The reset program will be available on the PlantX e-commerce platforms at strategic points throughout the year, such as New Year's or throughout the summer .
Home Delivery Boom
Having world-renowned partners and ambassadors is a powerful way to spread the word about the online, one-stop, plant-based mecca, which also features another key pillar of growth for PlantX: its home-meal delivery program. The five-day, plant-powered meal plans under the PlantXReset moniker will initially be available throughout Canada at various points throughout the year, with plans to expand into the United States soon.
The timing of the PlantX meal-delivery business was serendipitous in dovetailing with the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which boosted the entire home-delivery industry. COVID-19 didn't produce a temporary spike in the market; it accelerated the inevitable as people shop increasingly online and spend more time at home, resulting in forecasts for the U.S. meal delivery market to climb to $28.5 billion by 2024.
Record Sales, NASDAQ Listing Will Draw More Attention
Prestigious partnerships and ambassadors also lend to the phenomenon of influencer marketing, which draws more consumers into adopting a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. Interestingly, PlantX was seeing a boon in quarterly sales before the agreements with Williams, Kenney and Thornton. The company also substantially widened its sales and brand footprints through a deal with Hudson's Bay, where PlantX will add an array of more than 2,000 of its products on Hudson's Bay Marketplace's online platform.
Starting with zero sales in April 2020, PlantX has posted consistently increasing month-over-month revenue increases. For the month of April 2021, PLTXF achieved a new record gross revenue of $2,042,450, reflecting a 30% increase from March 2021 and 87% increase since January 2021. In addition, earlier this year PlantX started the process to uplist to the NASDAQ exchange, which should perpetuate the cycle of attention coming to the brand.
Data Point to Blue Skies
In the U.S. and Canada, sales of plant-based products have grown at an annual rate of 29% and 16%, respectively, in the last two years. In that vein, data published on FONA International that found that 51% of consumers reported adding plant-based products to their diet. This points to the thesis that the market is undergoing a fundamental shift that is gaining momentum, which is good for several established players in the space.
Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND) is the brand that everyone has heard of in the plant-based space. Rightfully so, with its global scale. Partnerships with companies such as McDonald's and Carl's Jr. are helping bring substantial exposure to plant-based meats. In addition, Beyond Meat recently established a pioneering Plant-Based Diet Initiative Fund at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The five-year endeavor is designed to provide peer-reviewed, clinically significant studies on the health implications of a plant-based diet, including plant-based meat, and will help to generate data to drive and inform Beyond Meat's research and development.
Tattooed Chef Inc. (NASDAQ: TTCF) offers a portfolio of sustainably sourced, plant-based foods including ready-to-cook bowls, zucchini spirals, riced cauliflower, acai and smoothie bowls, and cauliflower pizza crusts, which are available in the frozen food sections of leading national retail food stores as well as on Tattooed Chef's e-commerce site. Thanks to a rise in sales of its branded products, 2020 revenue rose 75% versus 2019 to $148.5 million. Keeping with the theme of being good for Earth companies, Tattooed Chef is donating $1 to One Tree Planted for every product purchased during May.
Laird Superfood Inc. (NYSE: LSF), a company founded by famous big wave surfer Laird Hamilton to share his coffee and plant-based fat concoctions, offers a wide range of plant-based and functional food products. The company has found its niche with a subscription model that accounts for 66% of sales on its ecommerce site. Growing from just three SKUs in 2015 to 25 SKUs in 2019, Laird is about to bolt on some more, saying this month that it is buying fellow Central-Oregon-based Picky Bars LLC. for a total purchase price of $12 million in cash and stock.
Burcon Nutrascience Corp. (OTCQB: BUROF) has quietly been in the thick of the plant-based protein revolution for two decades. Driven by a desire to develop a sustainable way to feed the world, Burcon has a product lineup consisting of pea proteins, canola proteins and protein blends. The company hit a major milestone this month when its joint venture company, Merit Functional Foods Corp., achieved first commercial production of its novel lineup of Puratein® canola proteins. Merit's new, state-of-the-art, plant-based protein production complex is now the first and only commercial-scale facility in the world capable of producing food-grade protein from canola, the world's second-largest oilseed crop.
It wasn't long ago that analysts scoffed at plant-based food manufacturers, positing that it was a fad that wouldn't last. Those so-called experts have changed their tune now as plant-based products — from hamburgers and hot dogs to baby food and makeup — are becoming are becoming mainstream.
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