If you like plant-based companies on the public markets; if you think veganism and vegetarianism and pescatarianism and whole-foodism and ‘health and wellness’ism are all a positive thing, as I do, and as it seems a lot of investors do, then you’ve no shortage of stock tickers that’ll claim to be leading the space.

But each plant based food company has one large potential hurdle to overcome. That problem is real estate.

It’s great to have an idea for a product. It’s even better to have an actual developed product. It’s fantastic to have a product that is available to be on shelves.

But very few companies in the plant-based foods space on the public markets have an actual developed product, already produced at scale, that’s found on shelves in any kind of major way.

Enter Element Nutrition (ELMT.C).

Element Nutritional Sciences Inc.’s Rejuvenate ready-to-drink organic plant protein beverage is now available on shelves at 8,468 Walgreens locations in 50 states across the United States. Walgreens is the second-largest pharmacy in the United States.

8400 stores!

This is not an easy task for any company, let alone a new one, let alone a singe SKU deal. Why is that?

Because when you convince a Shoppers Drug Mart or a Loblaws or a Rexall to sell your product, what you’re really doing is convincing them to remove someone else’s product from their shelves. It’s like the stock market – nobody wins unless someone else loses.

Listen man, these big box stores have limited real estate; there’s only so many places they can use to sell a product, and those shelves are not sitting empty when Johnny Plant-Based calls in looking for a home for his lentil-crab burgers. So when a new company can navigate the gate keepers and get a buyer for a chain to say, “We will commit to your plant-based, gluten-free, sugar-free, organic muscle rejuvenation beverage and boot someone else, and we will do that in EVERY SINGLE STORE…”


To get to that sort of roll out takes most startups months of phone calls and samples and convention trips and discounts and cashed in favours, and even then you’re only going to get a regional test run.

Not only do you need to convince these chains your product is good, but you also need to demonstrate it does what you say it does, that you can scale if it sells well, that there’s a market for it, and that they’re going to make enough markup on your premium pure organic product that they can do without the big corporate high fructose corn syrup version they sell currently.

Here’s what Element’s Rejuvenate product does – when you start to get past the age of 40, your body begins to lose muscle. That cascades into all sorts of issues. I’m working right now at a standing desk and I can feel myself leaning, which is going to lead to a sore back later, and that’s down to my old bones failing over time.

That’s life in your 50’s, which sucks, but hey, at least I’m not in crypto.

Even if you exercise, you lose muscle over time as you age. But if you do no exercise and take Element’s Rejuvenate product, according to the studies the company flaunts, you gain net muscle balance overtime. And if you DO exercise, it ramps up from there.

This is great stuff and right on trend. I’ve been taking morning protein beverages for years, and they’re great with exercise but taste like cardboard out of a blender and don’t do much for you if you’re not sweating it up every day.

Rejuvenate fits directly into my lifestyle needs. That’s a good reason for me to like the stock.

But the better reason is how they’re executing. 

Rejuvenate products are now available at over 15,500 points of distribution in the United States (through Walgreens, CVS and Food Lion) and 750 locations in Canada (through Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Market and Rexall). These retail partnerships complement the company’s e-commerce network, which includes Amazon websites and Rejuvenate Muscle websites and will soon include shipments to Sam’s Club and iHerb.

15,500 locations!

Generally, to make a new wellness product jump into the mainstream at chain store groceries and drug stores, you have to send the CEO out with a little tray of samples to stand in the middle of a Costco in Schenectady, New York on a rainy Sunday and convince one or two passers-by at a time to try your really great plant based product. If you can convince eight people to buy a box, the manager MIGHT buy a case afterwards.

Try this x 1000 and you have a minor plant-based food business on your hands.

So when a new plant-based deal comes along with a product that actually hits the spot for me personally, that does the thing that I need done that fixes a problem that I, myself, am personally dealing with, and that many, many, many others like me will deal with, or are dealing with, or have dealt with… That’s interesting.

You can hire a team of salespeople, and they can sit there and play on the phones all day, but can they penetrate into the buying boardroom of the second largest pharmacy chain in the United States.

Let’s do the math on this.

  • Let’s say every store takes two cases of 6, or 12 boxes for sale.
  • Each box of 30 pouches retails for $45 at Amazon, so let’s assume they go for $20 wholesale.
  • 12 boxes at $20 per box brings $240 per store for the initial order, and we’re being pretty conservative there.
  • $240 x 15,500 stores is revenue of around $3.72 million across the initial order.
  • If each of those places that agreed to sell the product reorder by the end of the month, you’re looking at $44 million in first year sales.

Element Nutrition, right now, is a $63 million company that could do $44 million in sales on this, their first real product. Imagine what happens when they fill the sales channel with more SKUs.

Admittedly, all of this is a ‘back of a cocktail napkin’ estimate for me – the actual revenue could be far more, or it could be far less. But what I’m telling you is this company has done all the work to expect significant revenue in quick time.

Buy some. Try some. Tell me if you like it and, if you’re into the plant-based space, and you think being able to drop 5000 new retail locations as news on a random Monday isn’t a big deal, quite frankly, I don’t understand what would make you interested.

— Chris Parry

FULL DISCLOSURE: Element Nutrition is an Equity.Guru marketing client, we own stock in the company, and the author uses the product.

Written By:

Chris Parry

A multi-Webster Award winner for excellence in BC journalism, Parry is the founder and publisher of Equity.Guru, which he built with the specific plan to blend old school reporting with stock promotion, in a way that puts the emphasis on truth, high standards, and ethics. Parry is a veteran of TV, radio, and print, and consults with public companies to help them figure out their storylines, lay down achievable milestones, and improve their communication with shareholders, while also posting regular deep dive analysis of companies in the public spotlight.

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