Plant-based investors Elysabeth Alfano and Sasha Goodman this week announced the first global Index and list of publicly traded plant-based stocks, christened the VegTechTM Index: The Global Vegan Impact and Innovation Index (VEGT). But which companies made the list and why? Elysabeth and Sasha share exclusive insight with vegconomist.
The VegTech lndex of 21 global companies represents the VegTech ™ market: publicly traded companies actively innovating to remove animals from the supply chain to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. Like the Dow Jones Industrial Average or Nasdaq-100, 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.
The hope is that the Index will also encourage companies that are close to being included but have not yet fully dropped meat or dairy, to consider the same. VegTechTM is up 6.47% for the month of February to 1312. In January, it was up 23.23% to 1232. The index started at 1000 and is currently in beta.
The Big Shift
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of environmental damage. Animal products contribute to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, pandemics and rising healthcare costs. Animals in the supply chain are responsible for the torture of 100 billion animals yearly, including fish. For these reasons and more, the two investors 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.
What are the criteria?
- 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.
Below is the global list of (currently) 21 publicly traded stocks that are included in the market cap-weighted VegTechTM index:
Available on U.S. Exchanges
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 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.
Tofutti (TOFB on US OTC Markets*) is a soy-based and dairy-free foods company that went public in the 1980s. They produce frozen desserts, cream and sour cheeses and have over 35 products in total.
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.
Agroconomics: (AGNMF US OTC Markets) An investment company focused on innovative alternatives to animal meat, such as cell-based and plant-based versions. Their holdings include BlueNalu, Meatable, Mosa Meat, SuperMeat, Shiok Meats, Rebellyous Foods, and Livekindly.
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 the U.K. Exchange
Agroconomics: (ANIC on the London Stock Exchange*) See above description.
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.
The Very Good Butchers: (0SI on Frankfurt Stock Exchange) See description above.
Available on Canadian Exchanges
Else Nutrition (BABY on TSX Venture Exchange) See description above.
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.
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*
Speaking to vegconomist today, Sasha Goodman stated, “By definition, technology about using scientific knowledge to address a real world problem. The Vegtech Index highlights a group of companies that are making use of agroecology, food science, materials science, biology, and nutrition science for the triple win: helping animals, people, and the planet.”
Elysabeth Alfano noted, “As an investor, I want a portfolio that is 100% free from animals. I also want to invest in the companies that are intentionally seeking to solve some of the world’s greatest problems by keeping animals out of their products.”
Note To All Listed Companies: Send in your square logo here to have it included in the rolling ticker above.
For companies interested in licensing VegTechTM: The Global Vegan Impact and Innovation IndexTM click here.