Regenerative food and farming company Wide Open Agriculture (ASX: WOA) is making headway in the development of several plant-based products as their markets rapidly continue to expand.
The company today provided an update in the form of a presentation for the Euroz Hartleys Rottnest Island Institutional Conference on Rottnest Island off Western Australia. It revealed research data that showed plant-based food categories are estimated to be worth more than US$100 billion (A$137 billion) by the year 2025.
By 2028, the market is forecast to be worth over US$200 billion (A$275 billion) with plant-based snacks such as noodles and plant-based dairy alternatives for yoghurt, cheese and mayonnaise expected to take up the larger proportion of the market value at US$73 billion (A$100 billion).
Lupin protein pilot plant on track
Wide Open Agriculture has developed a proprietary protein suitable for numerous food and drink categories based on lupin, one of the highest sources of plant proteins available as well as being a high source of dietary fibre. It has trademarked the protein Buntine based on its WA farm location.
The company is currently in the process of establishing a lupin pilot plant in WA and today revealed that all equipment has been received and work is on track to start construction in this current quarter (Q3). Optimisation and full-scale operation is expected to commence and continue through the fourth quarter and into the first quarter of FY23.
Commercial and intellectual property pathways are also expected to advance over the next nine months including the initial launch of branded high-protein, flavoured oat milk, the progression of commercial agreements and final patent applications across the globe.
The company also aims to expand sampling and commercial relations with additional food and ingredient companies for its lupin protein.
Growing demand for oat milk
Wide Open Agriculture has reported growing demand for its regenerative oat milk which saw sales more than double in Q2 FY22. The product is now available in more than 500 retail and café locations globally and is on track to reach more than 1,000 locations by the end of June.
Four distribution agreements have recently been signed with sales from these deals estimated to have a $2.1 million per annum minimum commitment. Continued sales momentum is expected throughout the year as distribution partners come online including initial orders for Woolworths and Metro Assets in Hong Kong.
Wide Open Agriculture said it expects to announce new regional markets it will be expanding to “in coming months”.
The company’s new Barista oat milk product is currently under production with expected release in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong next quarter.
Wide Open Agriculture is also reaching the final planning stages of its commercial-scale oat milk facility in WA with detailed mechanical and engineering plans expected to be completed this month.
Growing online delivery business
Wide Open Agriculture is experiencing growing uptake of its online delivery business particularly in the local WA market during the current Omicron outbreak. This growth was bolstered by increased home delivery capability across the state as well as by new product ranges.
The company reported the digital channel achieving 87% revenue growth month-on-month from December to January. Q2 FY22 revenue from digital of $576,063 also reflected a 91% year-on-year increase.
According to market research, the global online food delivery services market is forecast to reach US$192 billion in 2025 at a compound annual growth rate of 11%.