Regenerative farming and food producer Wide Open Agriculture (ASX: WOA) has reported revenue of $2.6 million for the March quarter, representing a jump of 14% on the previous period and an increase of 129% year-over-year.
The Perth-based company has now recorded 11 consecutive quarters of sequential revenue growth despite operating through a global pandemic and experiencing disruptions to global supply chains.
Robust growth was also seen across all sales channels, anchored by an acceleration of Wide Open’s digital platform and continued momentum in the global oat milk industry.
New oat milk distribution deals were secured by subsidiary Dirty Clean Food with Metro Alliance for sales into Hong Kong and Macau, building on recent agreements which are expected to deliver around $2.1 million in revenue over the next 12 months.
Dirty Clean Food’s digital platform continued to be an incubator for rapid growth and on-trend product launches, clocking up online sales of $990,387 for the period and representing a growth of 175% year-on-year and 71% quarter-on-quarter to remain Wide Open’s highest margin segment.
Retail sales of $445,088 rose by 181% year-on-year and 9% sequentially, reflecting an increase in sales of beef, lamb and oat milk, as well as synergies realised from cross-selling multiple products into grocery.
The company’s food service and wholesale division expanded by 89% year-on-year, with quarter-on-quarter growth dropping by 10% due to a $200,000 one-time cattle sale in the previous quarter.
Without this sale, the quarter-on-quarter growth would have been 6%.
Lupin pilot plant
Wide Open reported that its lupin pilot plant remains on track for commissioning, with all key equipment received during the quarter.
The plant will aim to produce sufficient quantities of lupin — a plant protein sourced from the company’s regenerative farming practices — for the launch of a high-protein oat milk, targeting potential offtake and strategic partners.
It will allow for the manufacture of new plant-based food and beverage products and the development of in-house intellectual property for functional lupin protein.
Wide Open said it had received confirmation from large food manufacturing groups that its Buntine Protein (a lupin protein concentrate) has the potential to become a highly-competitive product.
The feedback centred around Buntine’s gelation and solubility attributes, which are believed to be capable of adding value to the production of plant-based dairy analogs and are consistent with Dirty Clean Food’s own findings in the development of its high-protein oat milk.
Wide Open has held discussions with more than 10 potential strategic partners worldwide and said it would remain actively engaged in the pursuit of business development opportunities in multiple fast-growing plant-based food and drink sectors.
Oat milk demand
Sales of oat milk rose sharply during the March quarter, with the product estimated to become available in more than 1,000 retail and café locations globally by month end.
Dirty Clean Food shipped initial orders to Woolworths at the end of March, and received a commitment from the grocery giant that it would stock its products at 650 stores nationwide.
Demand from Asia remained strong, with sales growing more than 200% in Singapore, and domestic distributor Grow Hub placing follow-on orders.
Wide Open said it would focus on continued growth of oat milk sales for the remainder of the year, with a focus on establishing new distribution channels to accelerate return on capital from domestic production.
It also aims to expand Dirty Clean Foods’ market share within the retailer network, pushing its plant-based products which include vegan ice cream, cold brew coffee and granola.
Wide Open managing director Ben Cole said he was pleased with the latest quarterly results.
“This is truly an exciting time for [us] … our core Dirty Clean Food business lines are accelerating, our pilot plant is on track and there is growing interest from partners in the potential of Buntine Protein,” he said.
“We are starting to see momentum in the adoption of Dirty Clean Food products … our promise is to give conscious consumers a new and better option to buy ethical foods which support positive change and the regeneration of our farmland.”