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The plant-based food trend is taking over tables across North America, creating a new market of opportunity. What are the top plant-based food life science stocks for investors to consider?

Consumers are hungry for more plant-based diets, and their enthusiasm is creating a juicy growth market that investors can really sink their teeth into.

The plant-based food industry has attracted a lot of investor interest in the past few years. In 2021, several companies garnered more than US$100 million in 13 separate funding rounds. One of the biggest winners was privately held Impossible Foods, which completed a US$500 million raise for lifetime funding of over US$2 billion.

All this funding frenzy might just be the appetizer before the main course.

In its Foresight 2021 report, Lux Research includes alternative proteins among its picks for top technology innovations destined to have the greatest impact on worldwide markets in the next decade.

With a nearly 12 percent compound annual growth rate forecasted over seven years, the plant-based food sector represents a high-growth opportunity for investors. In fact, Meticulous Research projects that the global plant-based food market will be worth as much as US$23.4 billion by 2028.

Here the Investing News Network takes a look at the top plant-based food stocks by market capitalization in the US and Canadian markets. Read on to learn more about them.

Top US-listed plant-based food stocks

The American plant-based food stocks below were compiled using TradingView’s stock screener on February 1, 2022. Companies listed on the NASDAQ and NYSE were considered and are listed from largest to smallest.

1. Ingredion

Market cap: US$6.34 billion

Ingredion (NYSE:INGR) provides plant-based ingredients to companies manufacturing vegan products; it earned a spot on Ethisphere’s list of the world’s most ethical companies for the eighth year in row in 2021. The company recently opened the first facility in North America to produce pea protein isolate and pea starch.

The global food manufacturer’s pea protein isolate is 85 percent protein and can be used to boost the protein content of a range of plant-based food and beverage products. Ingredion’s pea starch can be used in a number of ways, including in the production of plant-based cheeses.

2. Oatly Group 

Market cap: US$4.32 billion

Oatly Group (NASDAQ:OTLY) bills itself as “the world’s original and largest oat drink company.” It has a range of plant-based alternatives to dairy products, including milks, ice cream, yogurt, cooking creams and spreads.

Headquartered in Sweden, Oatly is actively expanding its global footprint in the plant-based food market. In 2021, the company opened production facilities in Singapore and China. More recently, in January 2022, Oatly launched a plant-based milk alternative on trains in Germany.

3. Beyond Meat

Market cap: US$4.24 billion

The most mature pure-play plant-based food stock on the market, Los Angeles-based Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) first launched its brand nearly a decade ago. Today, the company’s plant-based meat alternatives can be purchased in grocery stores and restaurants across the globe. Designed to emulate beef and pork, its offerings include patties, sausages, hot dogs and meatballs.

In November 2021, fast food giant McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) began selling McPlant burgers made with Beyond Meat products at select locations. The so-far successful test run has had a positive impact on the share price for this US-listed plant-based food stock.

4. Tattooed Chef

Market cap: US$1.05 billion

With manufacturing facilities in the US and Italy, Tattooed Chef (NASDAQ:TTCF) has a growing portfolio of frozen plant-based foods that are sold by retailers across the US. The company recently launched six new plant-based food products for sale in Target (NYSE:TGT) stores nationwide, and has products at Publix Super Markets.

“The Tattooed Chef brand was created to meet the growing demand for great tasting plant-based foods. We offer convenience without sacrificing quality, nutritional value or freshness,” said Sarah Galletti, the company’s creative director and the inspiration for its name.

5. Benson Hill

Market cap: US$585.81 million

Food technology company Benson Hill (NYSE:BHIL) is combining data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning with biology through its proprietary platform CropOS. The company’s products include plant-based proteins such as ultra-high-protein soy and yellow peas. The company believes plants with higher protein content will displace the need for expensive energy and water-intensive processing when producing the protein ingredients used in plant-based meat alternatives.

In early January 2022, Benshon Hill announced the strategic aqcuisition of soy flour manufacturer ZFS Creston. "This acquisition advances our integrated business model as a more efficient route to market with a smaller footprint that better aligns with consumer preferences, enabling us to harness the genetic potential of plants and help scale the growth of plant-based markets," said Matt Crisp, CEO of Benson Hill.

Top Canada-listed plant-based food stocks

The Canadian plant-based food stocks below were compiled using TradingView’s stock screener on February 1, 2022. Companies listed on the TSX and TSXV were considered and are listed from largest to smallest.

1. Else Nutrition

Market cap: C$146.92 million

Else Nutrition (TSX:BABY) develops and makes plant-based, clean ingredient alternatives to dairy-based formulas for infants and toddlers. In 2021, the Israel-based company listed its plant-based toddler nutrition products with United Natural Foods (UNFI) for grocery distribution across the US. UNFI has 58 distribution centers nationwide.

More recently, Else Nutrition products began selling on and, and the company has added more products to its offerings at Sprouts Farmers Markets.

2. Burcon Nutrascience

Market cap: C$139.08 million

Burcon Nutrascience (TSX:BU) develops plant-based proteins for foods and beverages. The food tech company has built an extensive patent portfolio covering novel plant-based proteins derived from peas, canola, soy, hemp, sunflower seeds and other plant sources. Through its joint venture Merit Functional Foods, Burcon has a protein production facility in Manitoba, Canada, that makes pea and canola proteins for the food and beverage industry.

In January 2022, Burcon expanded its intellectual property portfolio via the filing of five more US patent applications that cover technologies for the production of sunflower seed protein and pulse proteins.

3. Simply Better Brands

Market cap: C$127.47 million

Simply Better Brands’ (TSXV:SBBC) business model focuses on both plant-based and holistic wellness consumer products, including CBD products, plant-based foods and beverages, pet care and skincare products.

The company kicked off 2022 with the expansion of its US-based distribution of plant-based protein TRUBAR products in Costco warehouses. “The expanded buildings in Costco complement our broad distribution at other U.S.-based strategic retailers like Amazon, Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme and Walgreens,” said CEO Kathy Casey.

4. The Very Good Food Company

Market cap: C$93.59 million

The Very Good Food Company (TSXV:VERY,NASDAQ:VGFC) is a plant-based food technology company that develops, produces and distributes a growing portfolio of plant-based meats and other food alternatives. It sells its products through its wholesale and ecommerce stores, as well as butcher shops.

As a part of its growth strategy, the Very Good Food Company has made a few strategic deals recently. In February 2021, it announced the C$3 million acquisition of artisan vegan cheese producer the Cultured Nut. The company rebranded the cheesemaker under the name the Very Good Cheese Company. In March 2021, it acquired Lloyd-James Marketing Group, a wholesale and food service broker that specializes in plant-based retail placements. The purchase has allowed the Very Good Food Company to boost its retail network from 275 locations to over 2,000.

Beginning in 2022, the Very Good Food Company will be testing its plant-based protein product line in China.

5. ODD Burger

Market cap: C$52.07 million

Launched in 2014 as a produce delivery service, ODD Burger (TSXV:ODD) has grown into a vegan fast food business. The plant-based food technology company manufactures and distributes plant-based protein and dairy alternatives using locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. ODD Burger’s product line includes more than 30 plant-based protein products and sauces specifically designed for fast food.

These plant-based food products are distributed to six company-owned and franchised fast food restaurant locations across Ontario, Canada. Odd Burger recently announced plans to double its footprint nationwide, with a further four locations planned in Ontario, as well as one in Calgary, Alberta, and one in Victoria, BC.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.



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