Plant-based food producers and cultured meat companies have been exciting investors for some time now. So it is no surprise the sector – which some pundits are calling vegtech- now has its own global index of stocks.
It features 21 publicly traded companies who the founders believe are actively innovating to remove animals from the supply chain to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.
The VegTech™ Index tracks these companies and reports monthly on the average, market cap-weighted performance to give a snapshot of the growth, health and invest-ability of the mission-driven sector.
Highlighting the reason for the launch Elysabeth Alfano said “I wanted to create a portfolio of stocks that was 100% free of animal products, while at the same time supporting companies that disrupt their industry by removing or keeping animals from their brands. Further, I wanted to track these stocks that reflect a burgeoning industry bent on innovating for progress for the good of people, the planet and animals. I call these stocks VegTechTM. It turns out fellow investor Sasha Goodman was working on a similar list, and we decided to collaborate.The VegTechTM Index is up 6.46% for the month of February to 1311. In January, it was up 23.17% to 1232. It started at 1000.
Alfano adds that companies had to meet two criteria before being accepted for inclusion in the VegTechTM: The Global Vegan Impact and Innovation IndexTM
- The company needs to be working, intentionally or not, towards making animal-free advancements in their product offerings. This typically means they offer an alternative within an industry that uses a lot of animal products.
- The company as a whole, not just one of its brands, cannot be involved in producing animal meat, animal dairy, animal testing (unless subjected by law), farm animal feed products, or the significant displacement of wildlife.
2021 is expected to see a slew of new companies going public and be added to the list. The big name is Oatly whose public launch on the NYSE is imminent.
The list covers companies listed on the US, Thai, Canadian and German stock exchanges though at the current time doesn’t feature any UK companies.
The companies include:
Beyond Meat (BYND on Nasdaq Global Select*): The plant-based meat company got the attention of the financial world when, in 2019, its IPO was the most successful on the market since 2008, up 163% in one day. Maker of burgers, sausages, meatballs, grounds and breakfast sausages, Beyond Meat continues to grow through global retail availability, new fast food distribution deals, and manufacturing arrangements in the US, China, and the Netherlands.
Tesla (TSLA on Nasdaq Global Select*): Maker of high-performance electric vehicles, Tesla has made a huge statement by eliminating leather seats in all their vehicles. This stands in stark contrast to the automotive industry as a whole, which is the second largest consumer of leather, second only to the shoe industry. Given its size, Tesla is capped at 10% in the index.
Next Meat (NXMH on US OTC Markets): The Tokyo based food-tech venture Next Meats Co., LTD specializes in plant-based meats that look and cook like the real thing. They have plans for worldwide expansion and NASDAQ listing in the future. Be warned that although the company acquired an American SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company) with stock symbol NXMH, no deal has been finalized at this early stage. Therefore, shares of the plant-based food company are not traded under the NXMH ticker yet.
Laird Superfood (LSF on NYSE American*): New to the market, Laird Superfood is a supplement and drinks company which IPO’d last Fall. Co-founder and big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton led the company through a volatile market ride, and it is still finding its footing. In its filing, Laird said its goal is “to build the first scale-level and widely recognized brand that authentically focuses on natural ingredients, nutritional density and functionality.” The company offers products such as non-animal creamers, coffees, snacks, and micronutrient rich supplemental foods.
Natural Order Acquisition Company (NAOC on Nasdaq Capital Market*): NAOC is a blank check company headed by highly regarded vegan investor Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni and his colleague Paresh Patel. From the website, it states, “It is our intention to pursue prospective targets that are focused on technologies and products related to sustainable plant-based food and beverages, alternative protein, and ingredients. More specifically, our target market includes companies that use plant-based, cell-based or precise fermentation technologies to develop food products that eliminate animals from the food supply chain.” The warrants (NOACW) and units (NOACU) are traded under separate symbols.
GURU Organic Energy (GUROF on US OTC Markets). This Canadian company offers organic energy drinks crafted with plant-based ingredients, and actively promotes its plant-based identity.
e.l.f. (ELF on NYSE*) e.l.f. is an American cosmetics company. Items include bath and skin-care products, mineral-based makeup, professional tools, eyeliners, lipstick, glosses, blushes, bronzers, brushes, and mascara, among others. All items are vegan and cruelty-free.
APPHarvest (APPH on the Nasdaq Global Select) is, according to the website, AppHarvest is building some of America’s largest greenhouses, combining conventional agriculture techniques with today’s technology to grow non-GMO, chemical-free produce.
Ingredion, Inc. (INGR on NYSE*) is a supplier of plant-based ingredients for plant-based products. They make sweeteners, starches, nutrition ingredients and biomaterials that are used by customers in everyday products from foods and beverages to paper and pharmaceuticals. They are diving deeply into plant-based proteins with investment in Clara Foods and the purchase of Verdient. Through a partnership with Lyckeby the company offers CheeseApp potato starches designed to improve the texture and meltability of plant-based cheeses and is opening and state-of-the-art plant-based protein facility to increase the production of the same.
Else Nutrition (BABYF on US OTC Markets) Else Nutrition Holdings is an Israel-based food and nutrition company focused on developing innovative, clean and plant-based food and nutrition products for infants, toddlers, children, and adults. Its revolutionary, plant-based, non-soy, formula is a clean-ingredient alternative to dairy-based formula.
Eat Beyond Global (EATBF on the US OTC Markets): Eat Beyond Global is a Canadian portfolio company owning parts of TurtleTree Labs, Eat Just, Inc., The Very Good Food Company among others. It is available on both the Canadian TSE and the U.S. OTC market.
The Very Good Butchers: (VRYYF on US OTC Markets) The Very Good Butchers offers a line of plant-based meats and just purchased Canadian cheese company, the Cultured Nut. It is expanding distribution to the U.S..
Burcon NutraScience Corporation (BUROF on US OTC Markets) is a global leader in innovative technologies for the large-scale production of high-quality, cost-effective plant-based proteins and ingredients for use in the global food and beverage industries.
Plant X Life (PLTXF on US OTC Markets) is an on-line platform of vegan-only goods, products, gifts and meals.
SenzaGen (SZGEF on US OTC Markets) SenzaGenn works to eliminate animal testing for allergenic tests.
Meat-Tech 3D: (MTTCF on US OTC Markets) Meat Tech 3D is developing an alternative to industrialized farming, circumventing the ethical and environmental issues surrounding conventional animal husbandry by developing an industrial cultured meat and production process using integrated 3D printing technology.
Unique situation: U.S. Vegan Climate ETF (VEGN on NYSE Arca*) is not in our index as it is its own fund. However we are mentioning it here for informational purposes. According to the website, VEGN tracks the Beyond Investing US Vegan Climate Index (VEGAN) and screens large cap US companies for a variety of ESG considerations including animal harm and exploitation as well as fossil fuels, environment damage and human rights. Its vegan holdings include Beyond Meat and Ingredion. Otherwise, most positions are large tech companies that aren’t vegan in mission or making efforts to reduce animals from the supply chain. The fund’s long list of holdings can be found here.
Available on the Thai Exchange
NR Instant Produce Pcl (NRF on Stock Exchange of Thailand*) From vegconomist: According to Bloomberg, NRF raised around $51.4 million in its initial offering…and the stock doubled in intraday trading on its debut on October 9th. The company produces food items made from plant proteins to resemble animal meat products, including vegan meats made from jackfruit and eggplant, shirataki or konjac noodle.
Available on the Swedish Exchange
SenzaGen (SENZA on Nasdaq Stockholm*) See description above.
Simris Alg (SIMRISB on Nasdaq Stockholm*) is a Swedish company that sells Omega 3s in algae form.
Available on the Israeli Exchange
Meat-Tech 3D: (MEAT on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange*) See description above.
SavorEat (SVRT on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange*) From their website,”SavorEat’s new generation of meat alternative products recreate the unique experience, taste and texture of meat without a single animal in sight using a combination of a revolutionary chef robot, proprietary 3D printing technology.”
Available on German Exchanges
Beyond Meat (0Q3 on Deutsche Boerse Xetra) See description above.
Tesla (TL0 on on Deutsche Boerse Xetra) See description above
Burcon NutraScience Corporation (BNE on Stuttgart Stock Exchange) See description above.
Eat Beyond Global (988 on Frankfurt Stock Exchange) See description above.
E.L.F. (ELF on NYSE and 0EF on Frankfurt Stock Exchange) See description above.
Else Nutrition (OYL on Frankfurt Stock Exchange) See description above.
Ingredion, Inc. (CNP on Frankfurt Stock Exchange) See description above.
PlantX Life (WNT1 on Frankfurt Stock Exchange) See description above.
U.S. Vegan Climate ETF (E18J on Munich Stock Exchange) See description above.
The Very Good Butchers: (0SI on Frankfurt Stock Exchange) See description above.
Available on Canadian Exchanges
Plant & Co (VEGN on Canadian Stock Exchange*) is focused on offering delicious and functional plant-based foods to people in every facet of life. Brands include Holy Crap breakfast cereal and the Yam Chops plant-based butcher shop.
GURU Organic Energy (GURU on Toronto Stock Exchange*) See description above.
Burcon NutraScience Corporation (BU on Toronto Stock Exchange*) See description above.
Eat Beyond Global (EATS on the Canadian Securities Exchange*): See description above.
The Very Good Butchers (VERY on Canadian Securities Exchanges*). See description above.
Else Nutrition (BABY on TSX Venture Exchange) See description above.
PlantX Life (VEGA on Canadian Securities Exchange*) See description above.
2021 is expected to bring more vegan companies to the public market, such as Oatly.
More information about Elysabeth Alfano
Elysabeth Alfano is the founder of Plant Powered Consulting. She is also the host of the Plantbased Business Hour (Tuesdays at 1p PT) and the Plantbased Business Minute on Linkedin, and the Plantbased Business Breakfast on Clubhouse (Fridays at 7:30a PT). Elysabeth is the Managing Director, North America of vegconomist-the vegan business magazine.
Sasha Goodman is a vegan who is investing in a better future for people, animals, and the planet.