Got Milk? Return-It Depot Wants You! (Sector Roundup: Week 21)

Week in Review

 

For Christmas, I got some pretty sweet hot chocolate flavors. That being said, I made myself a warm cup of gingerbread hot chocolate yesterday. Seeing as I make my hot chocolate with milk, this was arguably the first time I have had milk in months. While I haven’t omitted dairy from my diet entirely, I have turned to milk alternatives like oat milk for my morning coffee. In case you didn’t know, oat milk froths surprisingly well and adds a kick of sweetness. I would highly recommend it.

Whether you drink milk or plant-based beverages, if you live in British Columbia (BC) Return-It depot will give you a 10-cent deposit refund. Effective February 1, 2022, residents of BC will be able to return containers for any milk drinks, as well as beverages like oat milk, soy milk, and rice milk, among others. These changes were implemented through the province’s Clean B.C. Plastic Action Plan.

Established by the Government of British Columbia, the Clean B.C. Plastic Action Plan addresses four areas:

  • bans on single-use packaging; determining which types of plastic to phase out
  • reducing single-use plastics in landfills and waterways
  • expanding the deposit-refund system to cover all beverage containers; this includes milk and milk-substitutes
  • supporting effective ways to prevent plastic waste

With this in mind, BC currently regulates Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs. These programs are intended to reduce waste by incentivizing producers to design products that are recyclable. This supports a circular economy where resources are continually conserved and reused as raw materials. However, the Clean B.C. Plastic Action Plan is looking to expand the EPR deposit-refund system to cover all beverage containers in addition to standardizing the refundable deposit to 10-cents.

This change would require an amendment to the Recycling Regulation, which currently has a range of deposit-refund amounts from 5 to 20-cents depending on the container type. According to the Clean B.C. Plastic Action Plan, creating a uniform 10-cent deposit-refund for all beverage containers translates into an estimated 50 million beverage containers diverted from landfills and the environment.

GURU Organic Energy Corp.

  • $493.115M Market Capitalization

GURU Organic Energy Corp. (GURU.T) is a fast-growing beverage company launched in 1999 when it pioneered the world’s first natural, plant-based energy drink. Since then, the Company has marketed its organic energy drinks across Canada and the United States (US) through a distribution network of more than 21,000 points of sale. Additionally, GURU has distributed its products through guruenergy.com and a major platform, Amazon.

Committed to “cleaning the energy drink industry,” GURU is focused on penetrating the 64% of millennials that consume energy drinks, fueling the market’s growth. That sounded a lot better in my head. GURU’s products contain no synthetic caffeine, artificial sweeteners, and taurine. Moreover, the Company’s products are certified organic and boast 140 mg of caffeine per 12 oz can. With this in mind, GURU has secured itself as the largest organic energy drink brand in Canada, with over 35% CAGR revenue growth.

Latest News

Most recently, on January 18, 2022, GURU announced three new partnerships with major Canadian ski resorts, made possible in part to the Company’s recently launched exclusive distribution agreement with PepsiCo® Beverages Canada. The three aforementioned ski resorts are Whistler Blackcomb in BC, in addition to Quebec’s Bromont and Mont Sutton.

“Since the beginning of our distribution agreement with PepsiCo® Beverages Canada in late 2021, we have been quickly ramping up our brand awareness and trial activities from coast to coast, and we are already seeing our efforts pay off,” said Carl Goyette, President and CEO of GURU.

Over the course of the 2022 ski and snowboard season, GURU will provide its full range of core energy drinks to the winter sports community. GURU will also activate various on-site sampling, sponsorships, promotional events, and other activities. With this in mind, GURU is continuing to expand into the Canadian foodservice sector and intends to make additional partnerships in the future.

Additionally, on January 6, 2022, GURU announced that it will report its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended October 31, 2021, before markets open on January 20, 2022. Management will hold a conference call at 10:00 AM EST to discuss the Company’s financial results as well as answer questions. However, this Q&A session will be exclusively available to financial analysts. Other participants may join on a listen-only basis, which will be available on GURU’s website.

GURU’s share price opened at $15.32 on January 20, 2022. The Company’s shares were down 0.46% and were trading at $15.25 as of 10:17 AM EST on January 20, 2022.


Vejii Holdings Ltd.

  • $18.91M Market Capitalization

Vejii Holdings Ltd. (VEJI.C) is a North American, online plant-based, sustainable products marketplace, headquartered in Kelowna, British Columbia. Vejii operates its online marketplace ShopVejii.com in both Canada and the United States (US), along with VeganEssentials.com, an online vegan grocer. The Company is committed to providing its customers with easy access to thousands of plant-based and sustainable living products from hundreds of vendors through a centralized, online shopping experience.

By leveraging logistics infrastructure and distribution network technology integrations, Vejii is able to support its vendors, improve customer experience, and connect buyers with the products and brands they want. To be more specific, the Company uses the data gathered from its marketplace to inform every aspect of Vejii’s business, including expansion plans and investments. Furthermore, Vejii’s dynamic fulfillment services enable brands to offer fast and reliable delivery.

Latest News

Most recently, on January 12, 2022, Vejii announced that Actual Veggies has launched on ShopVejii.com. Actual Veggies is a healthy plant-based burger brand offering alternatives for conventional veggie burgers, which are often highly processed, frozen, bland, or loaded with preservatives. With this in mind, unlike most veggie burger brands, Actual Veggies’ patties are GMO-free, utilize natural binding units, and contain no additives.

“As we continue to scale our brand and marketplace, it is especially important to us to remain committed to the community we’ve created by partnering with companies that have also committed to sustainability…

This partnership with Actual Veggies’ will allow us to expand our selection for our customers with a unique and innovative plant-based burger option that is unlike many brands that are currently on the market,” said Kory Zelickson, CEO of Vejii.

For more details related to Vejii’s latest press release, check out this article. If you would like to know more about the Company, take a look at Equity Guru’s Today’s Idea featuring Vejii. Finally, if you’d rather kick back and watch an exclusive interview with Kory Zelickson, feel free to watch ou Jody Vance interview below!

 

Vejii’s share price opened at $0.18 on January 20, 2022. The Company’s shares were trading at $0.18 as of 10:07 AM EST on January 20, 2022.

Full Disclosure: Vejii Holdings Ltd. (VEJI.C) is a marketing client of Equity Guru.


Good Natured Products Inc.

  • $158.766M Market Capitalization

Good Natured Products Inc. (GDNP.V) is a plant-based company committed to developing everyday earth-friendly packaging products that combine the very latest in plant-based renewable materials. Good Natured is focused on creating a seamless experience that makes it easy and affordable for more business owners and consumers to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.

The Company offers 400 products and services, produced using plant-based materials, not petroleum. During the manufacturing process, good natured® purposefully eliminates BPAs, phthalates, and other chemicals of concern in order to create products that are better for our health, the planet, and the ecosystem.

Latest News

Most recently, on January 20, 2022, Good Natured announced preliminary revenue and gross margin estimates for the quarter ending December 31, 2021, and for the year ending December 31, 2021. According to the Company, preliminary revenue for Q4 2021 is anticipated at $21.0 million to $23.0 million. This represents an increase of approximately 300% to 330%, compared to $5.3 million for the three months ended December 31, 2020.

“We ended 2021 on an extremely positive note by delivering the Company’s highest-ever quarterly revenue and the strongest percentage growth of FY2021. Our preliminary gross margins show an improvement from the third quarter despite supply chain inflation that persisted throughout the remainder of the year,” stated Paul Antoniadis, CEO of good natured®.

Similarly, Good Natured expects revenue for FY2021 to be in the range of $59.3 million and $61.3 million, representing an increase between 255% and 270%, compared to $16.7 million for the comparable 12-month period ended December 31, 2020, or FY2020. Regarding the Company’s gross margin for Q4 2021, Good Natured anticipates its variable gross margin to be between 29% and 31% compared to 32.9% for Q4 2020. Variable gross margin for FY2021 is expected to be between 30% and 32%, compared to 37.3% for FY 2020.

Lastly, Good Natured estimates that the Company’s gross margin will be between 22% and 24% for Q4 2021. As for FY2021, Good Natured expects its gross margin to be between 24% and 26%. Looking forward, the Company intends to release its full Q4 2021 Financial Results in April 2022.

Additionally, on January 19, 2022, Good Natured announced that it has filed a final short form base shelf prospectus with the securities commissions in each of the provinces and territories of Canada other than Quebec. This will enable the Company to issue multiple types of securities, ranging from shares to warrants, for an aggregate offering price of up to $200,000,000 at any time during the 25-month period that the shelf prospectus is effective.

Good Natured’s share price opened at $0.73 on January 20, 2022, up from a previous close of $0.71. The Company’s shares were up 2.82% and were trading at $0.73 as of 12:33 PM EST on January 20, 2022.


Boosh Plant-Based Brands Inc.

  • $10.787M Market Capitalization

Boosh Plant-Based Brands Inc. (VEGI.C) is a Canadian plant-based food company offering high-quality, non-GMO, gluten-free, and nutritional comfort foods. The Company was built upon the desire to help health-conscious consumers meet their goals by providing convenient plant-based meals for people who found it challenging to prepare meals from scratch. In total, Boosh offers 24-plant-based SKUs including frozen meals, refrigerated entrees, and shelf-stable products.

With this in mind, Boosh has developed six 100% plant-based, heat-and-serve bowls for one and entrees for two. Additionally, the Company has formed alliances with Beyond Meat Inc. and Buy BC, a province-wide marketing program characterized by marketing activities, retail partnerships, promotional activities, and events. Keep in mind, in the Global Ready Meals Market, frozen and chilled meals held the largest revenue share of more than 50% in 2019 and are expected to maintain their lead over the forecast period.

Latest News

Most recently, on January 20, 2022, Boosh announced the launch of the Company’s appetizer line branded “Amuse Boosh.” A clever play on the French term amuse-bouche, which translates to mouth amuser, the Company’s new appetizer line will feature Boosh’s recently acquired brands. These brands include Saltspring Harvest Végé-pâté and Dips, and Pulse Kitchen Plant-Based Cheese.

“Boosh’s long-term growth trajectory is centered around providing differentiating products in the plant-based sector. This is another prime example of how we provide unique, tasty, products that the whole family can enjoy,” states Jim Pakulis, CEO of Boosh.

The Company’s Amuse Boosh product line will also feature two new products including Almond Feta with Oregano and Olives, as well as Merlot and Peppercorn Pate. With regards to production, the Amuse Boosh line will be produced in the Company’s newly retrofitted facility in Penticton, BC. Production will be overseen by Stephanos Liapis, Boosh’s Production Manager and former Pulse Kitchen Owner.

Recent upgrades to kitchen equipment and packaging systems include a new mixer, oven, depositor, packaging machinery, and additional refrigeration. This will allow for increased production at Boosh’s facility to meet expected demands from Canada sales and export to the US.

Additionally, on January 11, 2022, Boosh announced that it has received confirmation from Save-On-Foods for four of the Company’s frozen bowls, whereby delivery will begin in April into a minimum of 120 stores in Western Canada. Boosh’s four frozen bowls included in this delivery include:

  • Mexican Fiesta Bowl – made with roasted butternut squash, peppers, black beans, and corn
  • Coconut Curry Cali – made with a combination of cauliflower and chickpeas with a creamy coconut curry sauce
  • Mac & Cheeze & Peas Bowl – made with creamy dairy-free Mozza and cream cheese, brown rice pasta, plus a hearty sprinkle of peas
  • Veggie Bolognese Bowl – made with tomato sauce, mushrooms, basil, brown rice pasta, and Beyond Meat®’s Beyond Beef® Crumbles

“The Save On Foods order is a significant milestone as we rapidly expand the Boosh brand throughout Canada and the US…This order now places Boosh in over 600 stores throughout Canada and growing. I firmly believe we’re on track to be selling Boosh in over 1,000 grocery stores in Canada by year-end,” states Connie Marples, founder and President of Boosh.

To provide some context, Save-On-Foods is a chain of supermarkets located across Western Canada. Furthermore, Save-On-Foods is a flagship chain of Jim Pattison Group, with more than 175 stores throughout BC and Alberta. In 2017, Save-On-Foods launched a formal effort to reduce food waste with a goal to cut its food waste in half by 2025. Having smashed this goal in June 2021, Save-On-Foods has since set a new target of zero food waste in 2022.

To put things into perspective, since February 2018, Save-On-Food has diverted 10 million kilograms of food waste to food banks and farms. Additionally, in 2019, the chain provided 500,000 meals to families in need. It is also worth noting that 34 of Save-On-Foods stores are powered at no annual cost. Getting back to the news on hand, Boosh’s products can also be purchased at Natures Fare and Nester’s, sister companies to Save-On-Foods.

Boosh’s share price opened at $0.63 on January 20, 2022. The Company’s shares were trading at $0.63 at closing on January 20, 2022.

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