Cracking the code for plant-based performance protein could be the key to grabbing a nice share of the $53-billion active lifestyle market and the $7-billion plant-based food market.
If you crack that code and celebrity athletes and Hollywood stars jump on board while it hits the shelves at some of the world’s top retailers like GNC, Amazon, and the VitaminShoppe, the branding becomes larger than life.
That’s what we think investors are looking for in this new megatrend market … a brand that encapsulates an entire lifestyle, captivates the star-studded world of professional sports and Offers future profit potential.
Actress Meghan Fox is on board …
American rapper Lil Yachty has invested …
NFL Hall-of-Famer Terrell Owens is a true believer, and an investor, too…
Superstar college quarterback Spencer Rattler is also on board.
The company is PlantFuel Life, Inc. (CSE: FUEL; OTC: PLFLF), founded by former NFL player Brad Pyatt and it aims to become the new go-to performance drink for professional athletes around the world–and for everyone participating in the explosive $53-billion active lifestyle market.
This is one of the most exciting segments, too, of the plant-based food market–one of the fastest-growing markets in North America. Sales jumped 27% from 2020 to 2021, hitting approximately $7 billion–and it was just getting started. Bloomberg sees the global plant-based market topping a potential $162 billion in the next decade. The plant-based beverage market alone will be worth over an estimated $66 billion by 2028.
It’s also part of the $1.5-trillion wellness market, which Plant Fuel intends to upend with a plant-based solution.
This targets the nexus of three huge mega-trend markets, and Plant Fuel is hitting retailers now in a prelude to the big marketing push for this powerfully branded, celebrity-backed alternative to whey protein and unhealthy artificial ingredients.
Plant-Based Companies May Be the Next Unicorns (or Decacorns)
Plant-based foods aren’t just a fad. They’re a necessity, both from a health and wellness perspective and from environmental realities. The world’s population is growing at a rate that threatens resource scarcity, and the production of meat and dairy products is redirecting crops, water, and land to the maintenance of livestock.
The unicorns–and possibly even decacorns–in this space demonstrate its longevity. Plant-based food is here to stay, and it’s growing continually with incredible momentum.
Plant-based tech start-up Impossible Foods has an estimated valuation of as much as $10 billion now, with rumors swirling that it could go public this year. And it just landed Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the United States, as a partner to retail its food.
Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND), which went public in May 2019, has a market cap of ~$3.25 billion, and Oatly (NASDAQ:OTLY) is right there, too, with a similar market cap.
Amazon, the $1.68-trillion online retail giant, is suddenly making a big push to get plant-based foods on Amazon Fresh.
The next big and potentially lucrative segment may go beyond “impossible” meat and alternative milk …
It’s the segment looking to challenge the powerful protein drink industry, where many athletes are desperate for a plant-based alternative that actually works just as well.
PlantFuel is taking aim at the plant-based nutrition trend and targeting the $40-billion-plus sports supplement/nutrition market by looking to bring a powerful brand into the arena, backed by science and a commitment to only the highest quality ingredients.
Peak Performance Meets Plant-Based Profit
Former NFL player Pyatt founded this company with a very specific mission: Turning the peak performance sought after by the world’s athletes and fitness buffs into the first successful plant-based business in the space …
One that can actually compete with whey protein in terms of performance, and may provide a much healthier alternative. His goal was an uncompromising product, from start to finish.
Prior to PlantFuel (CSE: FUEL; OTC: PLFLF), no one has been able to crack the plant-based protein code to the satisfaction of the muscle-bound sports industry.
Peloton reshaped the home fitness space. Oatly changed the way we think about milk. Impossible Foods took the “vegan” out of plant-based food with its magic meat. And already in 2020, 71 million American households were buying plant-based food.
That’s what PlantFuel intends to do with sports nutrition and peak performance. This is where protein supplements aim to become … impossible.
Whey protein has been the mainstay simply because there wasn’t a viable alternative. Whey is a byproduct of turning milk into cheese, and the consensus of some experts is that dairy may not be healthy for adults. There’s an added isk with many of the dairy-based protein drinks in this saturated market: some have been found to contain toxic elements that pose great health risks.
So why has there been no viable alternative, until now? Because animal-based amino acids have always been the magic ingredient for peak performance.
This new opportunity looks to change all of that with a science-based premium.
PlantFuel has added amino acids said to match those found in whey, along with performance mushrooms. The company is now in the process of clinical trials aimed to demonstrate additionally that its plant-based protein isn’t only healthier, but just as effective as whey.
The clincher here for many is this: It actually tastes good.
Distribution Already Locked Up: GNC, Amazon, VitaminShoppe
PlantFuel’s soft launch took place last summer with a $3.9-million initial deal with GNC, the leading nutritional supplement player with ownership of a $1.6 billion business accountability. The hard launch will happen this summer, with the two more behemoths of distribution: Amazon and VitaminShoppe.
PlantFuel’s unique strategy here has been to secure the biggest distribution channels and only then pursue a major marketing push. In our view, this is a smart money plan that looks to earn cash before it spends.
PlantFuel (CSE: FUEL; OTC: PLFLF) soft launched on GNC’s online store in August and a month later in GNC’s brick and mortar stores, featuring five new products including All-in-One Pre-Workout, All-in-One Nutrition, All-in-One Recovery, Performance Protein, and Daily Immunity and Hydration. Then, in October, it landed on Amazon’s exclusive Launchpad Platform.
What comes next is where we think this train leaves the station for investors.
The GNC hard launch will commence this summer, and it could snowball from there.
In November, PlantFuel products will hit the shelves at The Vitamin Shoppe, which is as big as GNC in the sports nutrition space.
Shortly after that, in quick succession, PlantFuel will launch at HEB, another big food retailer with some 500 stores in Texas.
Even the U.S. military is in the works, with a launch planned this year for soldiers, as well.
While we expect the brick-and-mortar push to be huge, the “digital shelf” opportunity is enormous. Amazon has over 300 million active global customer accounts, and data shows that 66% of shoppers look for new products here, first.
But North America isn’t the last stop planned for this plant-based train:
PlantFuel intends to launch internationally in 2023, with UK distributors already lined up, and Europe and Asia deals also underway.
Superstar Branding Rounds Up the Athletes
There have been some brilliant branders behind PlantFuel and its “No F***ing Whey” campaign.
The product, the branding and the NFL founder have worked to attract A-list celebrities from the sports world and Hollywood, not to mention premier non-professional athletes cutting sponsorship deals for this product.
Rapper Lil Yachty invested in PlantFuel in September, noting: “It’s brands like PlantFuel that inspire and allow me to stay actively involved creatively beyond just investing.”
College sports star endorsements are also lining up …
As part of PlantFuel’s “College Athlete Partnership Program”, top-level student athletes are offered NIL endorsement deals. So far, three big names–LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne, Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler, and Clemson defensive lineman Bryan Bresee–have headlined PlantFuel’s deal list.
NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens is also an investor, eyeing PlantFuel for its alignment with his own personal mission of constant peak performance.
“From day one, I was thoroughly impressed by my exploration of PlantFuel and its products. I am excited about my partnership with PlantFuel and delighted to join their team,” Owens told Vibe magazine.
And Megan Fox has thrown her support behind a product she says she is proud to be associated with.
It’s not just the science-focused product and the branding that casts a wide net for “cool”, down-to-earth full-time warriors, it’s the team behind it all.
PlantFuel (CSE: FUEL; OTC: PLFLF) is led by a team of experts with deep experience across a broad range of industries, starting with founder and CEO Brad Pyatt, a former NFL athlete, seasoned entrepreneur and wellness visionary. This isn’t his first foray into the wellness business. He has 15 years of experience in this space, first by building MusclePharm from a startup into a recognized sports nutrition brand that landed deals with major celebrities, including Tiger Woods and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Chairman Brian Cavanaugh has two decades of branding, marketing and retail merchandising experience, and that includes a decade at GNC itself where he launched a new brand delivering $80 million in its first year.
President Maria Dane rounds this off as an Amazon veteran formerly in charge of the behemoth’s Direct-to-Consumer Emerging Brands Program. She’s an Amazon launch expert and a key part of PlantFuel’s digital shelf ambitions.
The Inflection Point for Massive Potential Growth
Athlete-built and athlete-backed, this is where disruption could easily happen in the $40-billion sports nutrition market. This is where whey gets its first powerful challenger in a market where significant consumer demand is shifting toward plant-based alternatives.
Just like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat converted many non-vegan consumers to plant-based alternatives, PlantFuel intends to convert the bulk of the animal-based fitness lovers.
Products are already on the shelf in the largest sports nutrition store there is: GNC. Amazon’s digital shelf is flush with PlantFuel products, and the company is looking to prove that “Yes, muscles do grow on trees”.
PlantFuel has veteran management, three of the biggest retailers behind it, distribution lined up, a major hard launch coming soon, and some of the Who’s Who of brand ambassadors and strategic investors. We think this could be the next startup to stun the plant-based space and capture the world’s protein obsession.
By the time this hits all the biggest shelves in North America, the ground floor for this opportunity could already be gone.
Other companies taking the plant-based and organic trend to the next level:
Beyond Meat’s (NYSE:BYND) share price has been trending down for almost a year now. The plant-based meat producer has effectively seen its share price fall from a 52-week high of more than $160 to just below $50. Despite the fact that BYND closed deals with McDonalds, PepsiCo and Yum! Brands, it hasn’t managed to live up to expectations as it continues to post underwhelming earnings.
While part of the drop could be attributed to increasing short selling pressure, analysts are also noticing that competition in the plant-based proteins industry is increasing at a fast clip. Piper Sandler analyst Michael Lavery recently lowered his prices target from $50 to just $29, citing lower profitability, and increasing competition in the sector. Simply lowering prices to convert more meat-eaters into plan-based meat-eaters could weigh on the company’s earnings. “We believe the volume lift from lower prices may not offset the price declines,” Lavery wrote.
Has Beyond Meat become oversold? After such a big plunge, one might think that the stock is close to bottoming out, but the lukewarm reception of the McPlant burger, a product that has been developed in cooperation with McDonalds adds to the uncertain outlook for the company.
Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) is an absolute giant in the food world. It controls KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and more. And though not traditionally associated with health and wellness, is racing to grab a piece of this multi-trillion-dollar trend. Kentucky Fried Chicken, the fast-food megalith, is diving in headfirst to offer its loyal customers a taste of the vegan lifestyle. Teaming up with the meatless sensation Beyond Meat, KFC has launched a line of chicken-less ‘chicken nuggets’ that have been a huge hit across the globe.
The meatless fried ‘chicken alternative’ is already being offered in the UK, China, Europe, Canada, and the United States, and thanks to its success, it will likely continue to expand this offering across the globe. While nailing the iconic texture and flavor of KFC’s chicken without meat was no easy feat, the new vegan alternative has been wildly successful.
“I’ve said it before: despite many imitations, the flavor of Kentucky Fried Chicken is one that has never been replicated, until Beyond Fried Chicken,” Andrea Zahumensky, chief marketing officer at KFC.
While Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) is not exclusively engaged in the sale of plant-based products, it is food giant taking the trend seriously. It offers a wider selection of products available for both meat-eaters and plant-based diets. This is incredibly important in a time when almost 98% of consumers who buy plant-based products also buy animal meat.
Tyson is poised to win big as a growing number of Americans begin to identify themselves as “flexitarian”, or people who still eat meat, but more often choose vegetarian options. While the “vegan wave” grabs more headlines, the reality is that many more consumers fall somewhere in the middle. And that’s great for Tyson, which offers an array of products that will tickle the tastebuds of a wide variety of customers – with sustainability in mind.
In a release, the company noted, “Tyson Foods is committed to sustainably offering the protein and food products that consumers want. Through the introduction of its Raised & Rooted™ brand of plant protein and blended protein options including burgers and nuggets, Tyson Foods has become the largest U.S. meat producer to enter the growing alternative protein segment.”
Hormel Foods Corporation, (NYSE:HRL), recently named by Newsweek as one of America’s most trustworthy companies, develops, processes, and distributes various meat, nuts, and food products around the world. In October 2021, Hormel made one of its most significant forays into the plant-based market yet when it announced a joint venture with Sacramento-Based Better Meat Co. According to Fred Halvin, Hormel’s vice president for corporate development, the deal is based on the company’s determination to give its consumers choices when it comes to traditional meat and plant-based products.
Hormel recognizes that while the meat-substitute market has exploded in recent years, demand for meat and poultry is also going up. It is this exposure to both the traditional market and what many consider the food market of the future that makes Hormel an investor favorite. It has remained profitable every quarter for several decades and with plenty of established brands including Planters, Skippy, and Dinty Moore, on its books, it doesn’t look like that is going to change any time soon.
While Hormel Foods Corporation may not have the remarkable upside of other companies in the space, it has certainly made its name as one of America’s most recession-proof stocks, a trait that is increasingly valuable as inflation climbs. With a solid dividend and reliable earnings, Hormel is a good way to gain low-risk exposure to the up-and-coming meat-substitute market.
Tattooed Chef Inc (NASDAQ:TTCF) is an up and comer in this burgeoning market. And while it is no-where near the size of Yum! Or Tyson, it does capitalize on an overlooked niche in the industry. The small-batch food company specializes in handcrafted, vegan entrees and desserts. They are committed to providing healthy alternatives to the standard American diet without sacrificing flavor or quality. Tattooed Chef’s owner, Nora Dolan, started cooking vegetarian dishes for her friends when she was only ten years old and continued developing her skills with every dish she made.
Tattooed Chef grows, manufactures, and processes fresh and frozen foods. And even better, the products are sourced sustainably with many of the products coming from Italy. The brand looks to cater to every type of consumer, from those concerned about the environment to those focused on building and living a healthy lifestyle. Whether consumers are looking a great-tasting buffalo chicken alternative or a healthy acai bowl for breakfast, Tattooed Chef offers a wide array of delicious snacks for the conscious eater.
Primo Water Corporation (TSX:PRMW) is a Canadian company that has been around for over 30 years. They are committed to providing high quality water while also keeping prices low. Primo has grown and continues to grow in popularity, with their products being sold across North America.
Primo’s commitment to customer service is second-to-none, with the staff going above and beyond on a daily basis in order to provide excellent customer service. Primo strives for transparency when it comes to their production process, which ensures consumers know exactly what they’re getting from every bottle of Primo water they buy.
Restaurant Brands International Inc. (TSX:QSR) is the world’s second largest fast-food company with over 36,000 restaurants in 100 countries and territories worldwide. It was founded by two Canadian businessmen, who at the time were franchisees of Tim Hortons restaurant chain in 1964. The company operates as a holding company for its subsidiaries that operate quick service restaurants. An example of these would be Burger King and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen brands which are both well known for their chicken dishes made from fresh ingredients on site daily. RBI has also been ranked among the top 10 most sustainable companies globally by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and Dow Jones.
Premium Brand Holdings (TSX:PBH) caters to the food manufacturing industry with a focus on healthy, organic and sustainable ingredients. They offer niche brands that compete in the natural and specialty foods markets as well as established national brands. Their portfolio includes high-quality products including gourmet organic coffee, all-natural protein supplements, gluten free crackers and nut butters.
Premium Brand Holdings is dedicated to delivering their customers with an exceptional customer experience by providing them with premier products at competitive prices while maintaining an ethical approach to business practices. Its commitment is to provide a safe environment for consumers of all ages through sound quality assurance standards and strict adherence to federal regulations governing product safety. Premium Brands Holdings also takes pride in its contributions towards sustainability by offering environmentally friendly packaging solutions.
Burcon NutraScience Corporation (TSX:BU) is a Canadian tech firm rethinking the plant-based diet. With a focus on high-purity, sustainable, flavorful, and affordable products, Burcon has checked every box in the consumer’s book. Founded way back in 1998, the company has been at the forefront of the movement for over two decades, and it’s only become more refined since.
According to its mission statement, Burcon “seeks to improve the health and wellness of global consumers through the discovery and development of sustainable, functional and renewable plant-based products for the global food and beverage industries.”
Else Nutrition Holdings Inc. (CSE:BABY) is another innovative plant-based lifestyle company from Canada. Else Nutrition has taken a different approach than many of its competitors, targeting a particularly young market – babies. Else was a first-mover in this space, offering a well-rounded, clean, sustainable and most importantly, plant-based, approach to baby food.
Their products aim to deliver al of the same benefits as typical baby food, but with an organic twist. In fact, 92% of their products are made from three core healthy ingredients, almonds, tapioca, and buckwheat. And the best part, is they never alter the plants’ chemistry or remove any of the micronutrients, they just alter the texture.
By. Josh Owens
**IMPORTANT! BY READING OUR CONTENT YOU EXPLICITLY AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY**
This publication contains forward-looking information which is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements in this publication include that the products of PlantFuel Life Inc. (“PlantFuel”) can help bridge the gap between plant-based food industry and the global market for sports nutrition and supplements; that the plant-based food industry and global sports nutrition and supplement market will continue to grow substantially; that a new health and nutrition segment will develop and continue to grow which PlantFuel’s products will serve; that the sports nutrition and protein supplement segments will continue to grow substantially and will evolve to adopt plant-based supplements; that PlantFuel’s plant-based protein products will be shown to be as effective as animal-based protein generally and whey protein in particular; that PlantFuel can gain first mover advantage in these developing segments; that PlantFuel can achieve sales of its products and gain market share in the sports nutrition and protein sectors; that PlantFuel can leverage support from celebrity investors to help generate sales and consumer interest in its products; that PlantFuel can achieve additional and ongoing orders from GNC and obtain sales on the Amazon Launchpad platform and through the VitaminShoppe, as anticipated; that PlantFuel can develop revenues in other brick and mortar stores, in North America, Europe, Asia and elsewhere, and also online via ecommerce marketing efforts; that PlantFuel can continue to develop products that achieve market acceptance and consumer adoption globally; that PlantFuel can implement its business plan, leverage its branding efforts and achieve sales and profitability. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. Risks that could change or prevent these statements from coming to fruition include that PlantFuel’s products may not help to bridge a gap between plant-based food industry and the global market for sports nutrition and supplements as anticipated or at all; that the plant-based food industry and global sports nutrition and supplement market may not continue to grow as anticipated and that plant-based products may remain less popular than animal based products and supplements, particularly in mainstream athletics and sports nutrition; that the sports nutrition and protein supplement segments fails to grow as anticipated or continues to favour whey based supplements and animal based competing products; that PlantFuel may fail to obtain any first mover advantage in developing its plant-based protein or be unable to gain any advantage over larger and more developed competitors with more established brands; that PlantFuel’s products may be found less effective than animal-based protein generally and whey protein in particular; that PlantFuel may be unable to achieve ongoing sales of its products or gain sufficient market share in the sports nutrition and protein sectors to achieve commercial viability; that PlantFuel may be unable to achieve any significant competitive advantages from celebrity endorsements; that PlantFuel may fail to secure additional and ongoing orders in brick and mortar stores or online; that PlantFuel may be unable to develop its business due to insufficient financing or an inability to raise funds in the future; that PlantFuel may be unable to develop new products that achieve market acceptance or consumer adoption; that PlantFuel may be unable to successfully gain significant market share or achieve profitability. The forward-looking information contained herein is given as of the date hereof and we assume no responsibility to update or revise such information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.
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