It’s come around to that time of year again. The time when we get our families together around the dinner table, spreading good cheer, glasses of wine, gravy and COVID-19, to our nearest and dearest. The government of Canada might warn against getting together in groups larger than our immediate family, but if spikes in COVID-19 over the past few months are any indication, nobody listens to those warnings anyway.

It is absolutely great for companies like The Very Good Food Company (VERY.C), which had record orders for their popular holiday item, the stuffed beast, out of their Victoria facility. They’ve also added a new Canadian distribution partner, but we’ll get to them in a moment.

“We are delighted to see not only record demand for one of our most popular products, but continued repeat orders from key partners Whole Foods and Sobeys. As we look to expand across their large combined network, the robust sales velocity we are experiencing at the stores we’re currently in gives us a lot of optimism for the future,” said Mitchell Scott, chief executive officer of the Very Good Food Company.

Orders for their vegan holiday product, the stuffed beast, have grown to record levels in 2020, with presales for both Thanksgiving and Christmas are at maximum capacity. The order splits were for 2,000 units for Thanksgiving, 4,500 for Christmas and 1,500 units sold online through their e-commerce store at the Very Good Butchers website.

Collectively, the presales represent a 300+% annual increase in units sold compared with less than 2,000 sold last year, and don’t include the upcoming e-commerce sales for Christmas or when Americans do their Thanksgiving next month. The stuffed beast retails roughly around $44.

You can get it here at Whole Foods and Sobeys, if you’re so inclined.

If it’s not there, give it time. The company’s ramping up their production out of their Victoria facility to meet with the increased holiday demand. They’re implementing an updated inventory management system which they’re anticipating will streamline their tracking and procurement procedures. The company is also expanding into some additional warehouse space in Victoria around the beginning of next year, and the company intends ti implement a just-in-time inventory management system, which they believe will boost their capacity and decrease order wait times.

Presently initiatives have given them a weekly production volume boost to 11,000 pounds per week, which is a 50% boost above their previous volume on August 11, 2020. They’re on track for their state volume goal of 19,000 pounds per week.

In addition to their production capacity endeavours, they’ve also expanded their distribution net, now including online retailers and Canadian distributor Spud, which will now be carrying Very Good Butchers products. It has an online store and retail network in Alberta where it will distribute the company’s products to Canadian consumers.

Spud has won numerous awards, including the best grocery delivery by Georgia Straight Magazine, the sustainable process/facility awards in 2019 and the think beyond plastic innovation challenge award.

So if you’re not under lockdown in Ontario and want to gather your family around the table to share a meal, this company’s probably got your back.  Just make sure you’re playing it safe this year so we can keep the draconian lockdown measures to a minimum.

—Joseph Morton

Written By:

Joseph Morton

Joseph is a Vancouver-based author and journalist with both a communications degree and journalism diploma (and a few novels) under his belt. His joie de vivre is to spin difficult technical topics into more human-centric narratives. Buy him a coffee and he'll talk your ear off for hours about privacy issues, blockchain, cryptocurrency and martial arts. Don't talk to him if you're either a tomato, a bully, or if you're not a fan of either 1984 or Tender is the Night. No. You can still talk to him. Just be prepared to be told why you're wrong.

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Canadian food companies
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The Very Good Food Company
Victoria facility build-out
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