- B Corporation focused on creating, investing in, and accelerating the plant-based, clean-label food and beverage brands of tomorrow
- Strong management team and board with extensive experience in food commercialization, health and wellness and CPG, backed by strategic investors, including Listen Ventures and Kimbal Musk
CAROL STREAM, IL / ACCESSWIRE / November 23, 2021 – The Fresh Factory B.C. Ltd. (CSE: FRSH) (“The Fresh Factory” or the “Company”), a mission-driven company for plant-based and clean-label food and beverage brands, joins the CSE to capture the appetite of the Canadian venture capital markets.
The Fresh Factory is a vertically integrated company focused on accelerating the growth of emerging plant-based and clean-label food and beverage brands. The Fresh Factory owns or partners with up-and-coming brands to develop, manufacture, distribute, and sell products made from fresh produce and recognizable ingredients. It operates from its centrally located manufacturing facility in Carol Stream, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, ideally located to serve customers across the United States. As a B Corporation, The Fresh Factory is environmentally and socially focused and driven to leave a lighter, greener mark on the environment while making a strong, positive impact on their communities and the food system as a whole.
“We saw the Canadian venture capital markets as the perfect arena to further propel our business and to align with investors who support companies like ours — companies who want to put out great products while also helping people and reforming inefficiencies in the system,” said Nate Laurell, co-founder of The Fresh Factory. “As a B Corporation, we set a goal to become a market leader in sustainability – everything from ensuring a fair wage for our farmers, sourcing locally, composting our waste, purchasing produce seconds (food that is often thrown out), donating a percentage of sales, and operating a diverse and equitable company. These are just a few of the metrics we track today, and we have various initiatives underway to become even more sustainable.”
According to a 2021 report published by Bloomberg Intelligence, Plant-Based Foods Poised for Explosive Growth, the plant-based food market is projected to reach $162 billion by 2030, outpacing the growth of conventional products. However, the founders of The Fresh Factory noted that there was a fundamental disconnect between this trend and the legacy infrastructure that exists in the food and beverage industry. Specifically, 20,000 new food and beverage products launch yearly,(1) the majority coming from small brands that often require small runs and refrigerated (perishable) supply chains, necessitating both efficiency and speed. However, the current industry infrastructure was built for conventional brands that tend to be bigger and slower and create preservative-laden shelf-stable products that can sit in a warehouse for months.
The Fresh Factory was designed to fill this gap in the market. First, they are experts in plant-based, clean-label formulation, with onsite food scientists and recipe-development specialists. They are also flexible and fast, accommodating small run sizes and accomplishing in weeks what larger, more cumbersome companies take months to do. This way, The Fresh Factory can create and launch in-demand products quickly, going from farm to shelf in record time, in a way that legacy infrastructure simply cannot. And small brands are now flocking to The Fresh Factory for their nimble expertise: in 2020, The Fresh Factory produced more than 250 different types of products for 36 different brands, numbers that are poised to significantly expand given the burgeoning of the plant-based market and the growth of small brands.
Take a virtual tour of The Fresh Factory’s manufacturing facility in Carol Stream, Illinois: https://vimeo.com/282782045/bb24a9151b.
Key Company Highlights
- The Fresh Factory operates as a vertically integrated platform focusing on fresh plant-based, clean-label food and beverages, with its headquarters and main manufacturing facility located in Carol Stream, Illinois, just outside of Chicago.
- Sells products online, through distributors, and through retailers across the United States.
- Maintains a number of certifications and licenses, including USDA Organic, Gluten-Free, Kosher, and non-GMO.
- Produced more than 250 different products for 36 different brands in 2020.
Key Investment Highlights
- Innovative: Adaptable manufacturing facility and expertise in clean-label, plant-based formulation that enables the quick launch of on-trend products with the flexibility for small run sizes.
- On-Trend: The Fresh Factory sits at the center of the fastest-growing sectors in the food industry and currently operates in significant markets, including Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) and retailers and are scaling into Direct-to-Consumer (DTC).
- Experienced: Led by an experienced team of entrepreneurs with deep knowledge and experience in the food and beverage and health and wellness sectors.
- Proven: Solid year-over-year revenue growth with strong gross margins.
- Diversified: Broad exposure to the plant-based, clean-label food market with multiple ways to win, including equity brands and partner brands.
- Equity Brands (100% owned by The Fresh Factory)
- Partner Brands
- Dozens of leading food and beverage brands across traditional retail and direct-to-consumer channels.
Vertically Integrated Platform
- Innovation: The Fresh Factory launches a variety of innovative products every year, performing full-production trial runs to ensure that product quality is just as high for large runs as it was in the kitchen.
- Real Food: The Fresh Factory handles fresh produce, creating delicious plant-based, clean-label foods such as fresh pressed cold-pressed juice, beet hummus, and carrot miso salad dressing.
- Manufacturing: Wholly owned co-manufacturing facility is SQF Level III certified and a leader in food safety. The facility was built to be flexible and to accommodate smaller minimum runs.
- Fulfillment: Assembly, pick-pack-ship, and storage services for refrigerated and dry products. In-house logistics teams that coordinate deliveries, often arranging shared trucks to reduce distribution costs.
- Finance: Collaboration with emerging brands, often extending working capital terms or helping to obtain vendor financing on an as-needed basis.
- Sales and Marketing: In-house sales and marketing teams to help manage brand rollout.
- Elected to implement a number of social and environmental policies, including composting 100% of its produce waste and donating any extra produce or products.
- Donates 1% of sales from the Field + Farmer brand and sources produce seconds when available (more than 1.2M pounds in 2020 alone).
- Its Field + Farmer brand buys locally whenever possible, with more than 40% of its ingredients coming from local farms (defined as within 500 miles of its facility).
- As of year-end 2020, employs a diverse team with 42% identifying as women and 60% identifying as persons of color.
Management Team, Board and Advisors
- Nate Laurell, co-founder and CEO: Entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience, having founded and sold companies in the finance, energy, and food sectors.
- Bill Besenhofer, co-founder and COO: More than 18 years in operations and a lean six-sigma black belt, with deep experience in management and leading successful operations teams, including at Cardinal Health and Great Point Ventures.
- Jeremy Schupp, CFO: More than 20 years of experience in the food, agriculture, and energy sectors, working for both start-ups and some of the world’s largest companies, including Cargill and Nestle.
- Jeff Cantalupo, Director: Founder and Managing Partner of Listen.co., with deep experience in the health and wellness movement, having led Listen’s seed investments in Calm and Factor, after beginning his career helping large brands innovate at Leo Burnett.
- Lindsay Levin, Director: Seasoned CPG marketer, having served as Chief Marketing Officer at RXBAR (acquired by Kellogg’s) and Chief Marketing and Sales Officer at Fluresh, after having worked at PepsiCo, Stanford University, and Navigant Consulting.
- Besar Xhelili, Director: Deep experience in capital markets and law, currently serving as Director of Dunfield Capital Corp., a capital markets advisory company, and co-founder of Zoglo’s Incredible Food Corp.
- Kimbal Musk, Investor and Advisor: Founder of The Kitchen Community and Square Roots, board member at Tesla and SpaceX, and a respected real-food advocate.
To learn more about The Fresh Factory and to receive news and updates, visit www.thefreshfactory.co.
Co-founder and CEO
Media and Investor Relations
This news release contains “forward-looking statements” or “forward-looking information” (collectively referred to hereafter as “forward-looking statements“) within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. All statements that address activities, events, or developments that Company expects or anticipates will, or may, occur in the future, including information regarding: (i) expectations with respect to the size of the plant-based and clean-label food and beverage industry; (ii) the Company’s ability to successfully execute its business objectives; (iii) plans for expansion; and (iv) expectations for other economic, business and/or competitive factors. In some cases, forward looking statements are preceded by, followed by, or include words such as “may”, “will,” “would”, “could”, “should”, “believes”, “estimates”, “projects”, “potential”, “expects”, “plans”, “intends”, “proposes”, “anticipates”, “targeted”, “continues”, “forecasts”, “designed”, “goal”, “anticipate” or the negative of those words or other similar or comparable words.
Investors are cautioned that forward‐looking information is not based on historical facts but instead reflect the Company’s management’s expectations, estimates or projections concerning the Company, future results or events based on the opinions, assumptions and estimates of management considered reasonable at the date the statements are made. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward‐looking information are reasonable, such information involves risks and uncertainties, and undue reliance should not be placed on such information, as unknown or unpredictable factors could have material adverse effects on future results, performance or achievements of the combined company. Among the key factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward‐looking information are the following: the failure to satisfy the conditions to completion of the CSE listing and other risks detailed from time to time in the filings made by the Company under securities regulations, the potential impact of the announcement of the going public transaction on relationships, including with regulatory bodies, employees, suppliers, customers and competitors; changes in general economic, business and political conditions, including changes in the financial markets; and in particular in the ability of the Company to raise debt and equity capital in the amounts and at the costs that it expects; the Company’s production capacity and supply chain; the price of raw ingredients and materials; expectations regarding trends in the plant-based food industry; expectations with respect to the future growth of its food ingredient products; adverse changes in applicable laws; or adverse changes in the application or enforcement of current laws, including those related to taxation; the inability to locate and acquire suitable companies, properties and assets necessary to execute on the Company’s business plans; and increasing costs of compliance with extensive government regulation. This forward‐looking information may be affected by risks and uncertainties in the business of the Company and market conditions.
Although the management of the Company believes that the assumptions made and the expectations represented by such statements are reasonable, there can be no assurance that a forward-looking statement herein will prove to be accurate. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance, or achievements of Company to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. As a result, the Company cannot guarantee that the CSE listing will be completed on the terms and within the time disclosed herein or at all. Although management of the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated, or intended. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward‐looking information prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Although the Company has attempted to identify important risks, uncertainties and factors which could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be others that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Risks and uncertainties applicable to the Company, as well as trends identified by the Company affecting its industry can be found in the Prospectus and Listing Statement available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update this forward‐looking information except as otherwise required by applicable law.
No securities regulatory authority has in any way passed upon the merits of the proposed transactions described in this news release or has approved or disapproved of the contents of this news release.