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April 25, 2024

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Where do you draw the line (Sector Roundup Week 31)

Where do you draw the line? (Sector Roundup: Week 31)

The Forgetful Generation

 

When it comes to eating meat, where do you draw the line? Yes, you. What would it take for you to commit to a plant-based diet? For my mom, it was one too many animal cruelty videos. Since then, she has advocated for animal rights and can’t even drive past our local Maple Leaf Foods pork processing facility without wanting to protest right then and there. As for me, I have asked myself the same questions for years with no answer in sight.

Like my mom, 48% of consumers chose to reduce their meat consumption due to concerns related to animal welfare, according to the Vegan Society. Personally, the most appealing qualities of a plant-based diet are sustainability, nutrition, and health benefits. However, these qualities and supposed benefits have never been enough to convince me that a plant-based diet is worth pursuing.

What’s for Dinner?

So, again I ask, what will it take? Much like deep space, there is still much to be discovered with regard to a plant-based diet, although evidence in support of a plant-based lifestyle is growing. For example, a recent study published by researchers at the Birkbeck University of London found that eating meat may lead to impaired memory.

Before we get into the study itself, it’s important to note that, while evidence is growing, there isn’t enough definitive evidence to make the claim that most plant-based benefits are absolute. As such, it’s important to remain skeptical when delving into these studies. With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s talk about Birkbeck’s latest findings.

Researchers evaluated a group of 62 adults comprised of pescetarians, vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores. Of the omnivores, some had high meat intakes while others had low meat intakes. The primary goal of this study was to evaluate the impact of food choices on memory as well as sleep quality. While diet did not seem to impact sleep quality, researchers found that eating meat may lead to poorer memory.

Effect of diet on memory

Normally, I wouldn’t look too far into a study like this, however, Millennials like myself may want to pay attention. Typically, forgetfulness is associated with old age, whether it’s warranted or not. That being said, a survey conducted by Trending Machine tells a different story. Compared to seniors, Millennials were more likely to misplace items, forget what day it is, or forget to shower, among others.

That’s not to say our cognitive ability has declined. Instead, high levels of stress, which can lead to forgetfulness and depression, are to blame. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that Millennials are experiencing substantial growth in prevalence for many of the top 10 health conditions, including Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD).

As a Millennial with a history of Alzheimer’s Disease in the family, things are looking grim for me. Still, until a study this study is conducted with larger sample sizes, I will remain skeptical. Now, while I may still be on the fence about pursuing a plant-based diet, let’s take a look at some companies in the industry that have caught my eye, or at least have news worth talking about.

Beyond Meat Inc.

Beyond Meat graphic

  • $1.564B Market Capitalization

Beyond Meat Inc. (BYND.Q) is an industry leader in plant-based protein, offering a portfolio of products made from simple ingredients without GMOs, bioengineered ingredients, hormones, antibiotics, or cholesterol. Beyond Meat Inc. and Impossible Foods Inc. were pioneers of the plant-based sector, ushering in an era of sustainable, ethically sourced, delicious meat alternatives.

Beyond Meat has also done its part to lower the environmental impact associated with the production of the Company’s Beyond Burger. According to a study published by the Center for Sustainable Systems, the production of the Beyond Burger generates 90% less greenhouse gas emissions, requires 46% less energy, has >99% less impact on water scarcity, and 93% less impact on land use than a ¼ pound of U.S. beef.

Latest News

In a market that has pretty much gone stale, Beyond Meat is one of the few companies left making moves. On June 14, 2022, Beyond Meat announced that it has expanded the availability of its Cookout Classic™ value pack. Prior to the Company’s latest announcement, Cookout Classic was only available for a limited time following its retail launch in 2020.

“With summer grilling season underway, we are pleased to launch Cookout Classic value packs nationwide at our most affordable price point to date, enabling more consumers to Eat What You Love™ while enjoying the nutritional and environmental benefits of plant-based meat,” said Ethan Brown, Founder and CEO, Beyond Meat.

The Company’s Cookout Classic was launched in an attempt to “narrow the price gap between plant-based meat and animal protein.” At launch, Beyond Meat’s Cookout Classic was priced at $15.99, or $1.60 per patty, and came with 10 patties. To put things into perspective, Walmart currently sells an 8-pack of Great Value beef patties at CAD$10.97.

Beyond Meat Cookout Classic
Source: Beyond Meat

However, due to its popularity, Beyond Meat has opted to make Cookout Classic a permanent retail item. With this in mind, the Company has also expanded the distribution of Cookout Classic to more than 10,000 stores nationwide, including Giant Food, Publix, Sprouts, and Whole Foods Market, among other major retailers.

Beyond Meat’s latest announcement comes shortly after the Company announced a similar expansion of Beyond Chicken Tenders at over 8,000 outlets nationwide. In total, Beyond Meat’s products are available in an estimated 135,000 retail and foodservice locations across 90 countries, 35,000 of which are located in the United States (US).

Beyond Meat chart

Beyond Meat’s share price opened at $24.20 on June 16, 2022, down from a previous close of $25.56. The Company’s shares were down -3.68% and were trading at $24.62 as of 2:30 PM EST.

Plant & Co. Brands Ltd.

Plant & Co. graphic

  • $11.978M Market Capitalization

Plant & Co. Brands Ltd. (VEGN.C) is a modern health and wellness company curating plant-based foods. The Company offers a number of plant-based products through Holy Crap Foods Inc. and YamChops. Holy Crap Foods is committed to creating products that promote a healthy gut through simple, quality ingredients.

YamChops is a plant-based butcher shop based in Toronto, Ontario. YamChops offers a variety of plant-based meat alternatives including Tunaless “Tuna”, Chick’n Schnitzel, Szechuan “Beef”, and Montreal Style “Steak”. The Company announced on October 21, 2021, that a range of YamChops’ plant-based foods is available through Hungerhub’s meal delivery application, Uncatering™.

Latest News

On June 13, 2022, Plant & Co. announced that YamChops is now available in multiple restaurants across Ontario. Furthermore, the Company has made revisions to its Quick-Service Restaurant (QSR) and Food Service initiatives. With regard to Plant & Co.’s Food Service revisions, the Company has expanded the distribution of its products in grocery and restaurants across the GTA.

“Through organic growth initiatives, we have worked the Yamchops brand through a revised offering that spans both the QSR and Food Service side of the business. Our execution of those efforts is now paying dividends in new food service contracts and new direct-to-consumer engagements,” said Shawn Moniz, CEO of Plant&Co.

Specifically, the Company has launched its products into both family restaurants and pub-style restaurants in Georgetown, Mississauga, and Burlington. Plant & Co.’s various food service contracts will introduce restaurant-goers to the Company’s YamChop products, including Chicken Cutlets, Szechuan Beef, and Crab-less Crabcakes, among others.

YamChops graphic

As a resident of the GTA, I may have to try Plant & Co.’s products for myself. In addition to revising its Food Service model, the Company has developed a new QSR menu focused on the eating habits of today’s consumers. YamChop’s new menu offerings include Jackfruit Carnita Tacos, Chef Inspired Bowls, and General TSO Wraps, to name just a few.

To date, the Company’s YamChop branded products are available in major retailers, such as Sobeys. With this in mind, Plant & Co.’s latest news represents the first phase of the Company’s goal of expanding its Food Service offering. Plant & Co. now has multiple contracts spanning multiple restaurant locations in the GTA.

“Our 2021-2022 initiatives are paying dividends as we continue to execute on our organic and inorganic growth strategy. We continue to focus on the delivery of our growth strategy as we pursue opportunities for all our brands,” said Shawn Moniz.

Aside from YamChops, Plant & Co. is also expanding its Holy Crap Foods brand. On June 3, 2022, the Company announced that its Holy Crap cereal is now available in Rabba Fine Foods, a Canadian grocery chain operating 34 local markets situated in and around the GTA. Keep in mind that the Company has other brands in the expansion pipeline, including LumberHeads and Heal Wellness.

Plant & Co. chart

Plant & Co.’s share price opened at $0.12 on June 16, 2022, down from a previous close of $0.125. The Company’s shares were down -8.00% and were trading at $0.115 as of 1:28 PM EST.

Odd Burger Corporation

Odd Burger graphic

Odd Burger (ODD.V), originally called Globally Local, was founded in 2014 by James McInnes. The Company started as a grassroots vegan organization, bringing organic fruit and vegetables from local farmers to the doorsteps of its customers. Odd Burger is now a chain of company-owned and franchised vegan fast-food restaurants.

Odd Burger is also a food technology company manufacturing and distributing its proprietary line of plant-based protein and dairy alternatives to its various restaurant locations. Through various marketing strategies, professional signage, menu boards, and branded packaging, Odd Burger is confident in its ability to expand its brand presence.

Latest News

On June 14, 2022, Odd Burger announced that it has executed a franchise agreement for a new restaurant location in Edmonton, Alberta. The Company’s latest franchisees include Jasmin and Maheshkumar Patel, who are currently in the midst of identifying a location for Odd Burger in Edmonton. With this in mind, the franchisees will be working closely with Sai-Ganesh Enterprises (SGE).

“We are seeing a significant acceleration of our growth in Western Canada ever since we started working with the SGE group…Area representative agreements are an essential part of our growth strategy and it’s exciting to see the benefits of these partnerships already,” said James McInnes, Odd Burger Co-Founder and CEO.

For context, on March 16, 2022, Odd Burger announced that it would open 36 new locations in Alberta and British Columbia (BC) following an area representative agreement with SGE. Bearing this in mind, Edmonton represents the first franchise executed under the Company’s representative agreement with SGE, which will oversee site selection, construction, and store deployment.

In addition to Edmonton, Joanna and Jay Gandhi are in the process of submitting permits to the city of Calgary. Construction of Odd Burger’s Calgary location is expected to commence this summer once the permits have been approved. Furthermore, on June 9, 2022, Odd Burger announced that it had signed an agreement with Starke Investments to open 40 new locations in Ontario.

“Partnering with Starke Investments will allow Odd Burger to continue its rapid expansion across North America, while still providing an incredible level of service to our local franchisees in Ontario,” said James McInnes.

Cumulatively, Odd Burger currently has 92 locations that are either operational or are under development in Canada. Aside from Edmonton and Calgary, the Company has locations in Toronto, London, Windsor, Vaughan, Waterloo, Hamilton, and Whitby. Additionally, Odd Burger has many franchise locations planned for Ottawa, Victoria, and Vancouver.

Referring back to Odd Burger’s latest news, the Company has also announced that it has been included in the VegTech Plant-Based Innovations and Climate Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF), which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EATV. Ultimately, this represents a significant milestone toward Odd Burger’s expansion into the US.

To provide some background, the EATV is the only ETF focused on investing in companies with food-based innovations, such as The Very Good Food Company, Ingredion, Beyond Meat, and now Odd Burger. To qualify, companies must adhere to one of four categories, namely cultivated meat and fermentation, plant-based food and beverages, agriculture technology, and plant-based material.

Odd Burger chart

Odd Burger’s share price opened at $0.36 on June 16, 2022, up from a previous close of $0.35. The Company’s shares were up 2.86% and were trading at $0.36 as of 1:51 PM EST.

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