food

Canada's Very Good Food To Test U.S. Home Delivery Of Plant-Based Meat

As Vancouver-based The Very Good Food Company Inc. prepares for a NASDAQ listing, the plant-based foods marketer plans to offer 30-minute home delivery by partnering with several third-party services.

Beginning in December, orders for The Very Good Butchers plant-based meats will be fulfilled by DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates and Uber Eats in a pilot program in select cities from coast to coast, the company said today.

On Monday, Very Good Food announced it had submitted an initial application in September to list on the NASDAQ stock market and is in the final stages of the NASDAQ review process.

Offering home delivery is a key expansion of Very Good Food’s ecommerce initiatives in the United States.

“Consumers will be able to receive our nutritious and delicious products in about 30 minutes, which is something we’ve never been able to do before—making plant-based eating convenient and accessible every day,” co-founder and CEO Mitchell Scott said in a news release.

Founded in 2017, Very Good Food describes itself thusly: “Our mission is lofty, badass but beautifully simple. Get millions to rethink their food choices while helping them do the world a world of good.”

At U.S. retail outlets, Very Good Food is going up against such plant-based pioneers as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Its products are currently sold in fewer than 175 stores, having recently added 23 Earth Fare locations.

By comparison, Beyond Meat is available in some 17,000 stores—roughly half as many that carry Impossible Foods products.

Very Good Food recently launched an ecommerce platform on Amazon.

The company relies heavily on social media marketing to generate awareness and trial. It partners with a few dozen influencers who have 55 million followers combined across such platforms as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, the company said in August.

Very Good Foods’ sole YouTube video is an April explainer in which Scott provides an update on the company’s production facilities.

Plant-based foods continue to gain traction but still face headwinds for more widespread consumer adoption.

Unlike plant-based milk substitutes, factors limiting adoption of plant-based meats include the fact that animal meat consumption continues to grow while fluid milk consumption “has been declining for generations,” Investment firm Cowen and Company wrote last month.

Additionally, unlike lactose intolerance of dairy products, “there is no built-in need state” for meat eaters to switch to alternatives.

In July, Deloitte fielded a study of 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 to 70 who influence fresh-food purchases in their households.

Among the survey respondents who had tried plant-based alternatives, 72% said that taste “has dramatically improved” in recent years.

“Overall, 32% of consumers would pay a premium for PBAs, but this number grows to 55% for the half of consumers who have actually tried it. However, this is still significantly lower than the 70% of all consumers who would pay a premium for fresh food.”

Having acquired Victoria British Columbia-based The Cultured Nut earlier this year, Very Good Foods launched The Very Good Cheese Co. brand of plant-based cheese products.

In the second quarter ended June 30, Very Good Foods revenue increased 156% to $2.8 million. Q2 adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $5.7 million compared to a loss of $1.2 million in the same period of fiscal 2020. 

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