Wide Open Agriculture (ASX: WOA) has achieved a major milestone in commercialising its Buntine Protein after locking-in a supply agreement with Monde Nissin Australia, which owns Nudie, Black Swan, and Peckish brands.
Under the deal, Wide Open will manufacture its regeneratively-farmed proprietary lupin-based Buntine Protein at its pilot plant in Western Australia.
Monde will purchase up to 60% of Buntine Protein produced at the expanded pilot plant over two years and use it as the main ingredient in a variety of food and beverages it is developing.
Wide Open expects to deliver its first shipment of the protein to Monde next month.
Wide Open managing director Dr Ben Cole said the company was “excited” to be working with Monde, which is its preferred partner to commercialise Buntine Protein, given its “strong market position and track record”.
“This agreement has the potential to catalyse farmers to grow more regenerative lupins and offer consumers a range of innovative, delicious plant products,” Dr Cole added.
Wide Open is on track to commission its pilot lupin plant and begin producing its Buntine Protein next month.
The product will be shipped in 20kg vacuum sealed plastic bags.
As part of Wide Open’s development of Buntine Protein, it dedicated “considerable resources” to ensure its pricing is “commercially competitive” against other plant-based protein alternatives.
Monde was established in 2014 through the merger of three businesses – Nudie Foods, Black Swan and Menora Sales and Distribution. Four of its brands hold number one positions in their categories in the Australian market and its products are distributed across major supermarkets, independent grocers and the food service sector.
The company is also a national distributor of Quorn, which is a meat alternative made in the UK from mycoprotein.
If Monde’s new products with Buntine Protein are well-received during market testing, Wide Open will build a large-scale commercial plant to provide long-term supplies.
Chief executive officer of Wide Open’s Dirty Clean Food brand Jay Albany said the company looked forward to establishing a long and “mutually beneficial” partnership with Monde.
Buntine Protein is manufactured from Australian sweet lupin that has been regeneratively grown in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt.
The product has been developed with no carbon footprint, zero water pollution and supports the uptake of regenerative farming systems.
Wide Open says Buntine Protein has the potential to create plant-based meat, dairy, bake goods, noodles and protein supplements.
Plant-based food and beverage market
In addition to its deal with Monde, Wide Open is in discussions with at least 10 other potential strategic partners in multiple geographies regarding its Buntine Protein.
Wide Open estimates the global market for its Buntine Protein exceeds US$100 billion.