The story

This article is written by Danica Cullinane and the original article can be found here: Small Caps.

Wide Open Agriculture (WOA) has achieved its eighth consecutive quarter of revenue growth with the trend forecast to continue as the regenerative food and farming company focuses on expanding its reach and launching new products.

The company today posted 28% quarter-on-quarter revenue growth of $1.46 million for the three months ended June 2021, which represents a 155% boost to sales compared to the corresponding period last year.

Wide Open Agriculture managing director Dr Ben Cole said the results point to the success of the commercial strategy.
“We have again managed to grow our revenue base while simultaneously launching new products and undertaking significant research and development programs that are expected to add long-term company value.”

“As our revenue and reach grows, so too does our regenerative impact,” he added.

Highlights from the last quarter include the company’s transition into consumer food development following an extensive lupin research program, the board’s approval to construct a pilot lupin protein manufacturing facility, as well as accelerated OatUP (oat milk) sales including initial orders from the eastern states.

Wide Open Agriculture finished the 2021 financial year on 30 June with $13 million cash at the bank.

The consumer food market

During the June quarter, Wide Open Agriculture returned encouraging nutritional analysis results that showed the legume lupin is similar or higher in protein than other commercially available plant-based concentrates including pea and soy. It also showed good levels of dietary fibre and essential fatty acids while exhibiting high digestibility traits.

In addition, studies found the manufacturing process did not reduce any nutritional qualities when lupin was converted into lupin protein concentrate, making it suitable for use in a wide range of food sectors.

Wide Open Agriculture is now directing all development efforts towards four multi-billion-dollar plant-based food and beverage sectors: milk, meat alternatives, snacks and protein supplements.

The company successfully added modified lupin protein concentrate to its OatUP oat milk product to increase its protein level and compete more strongly with soy and dairy milks. Prototyping has also commenced with development partners to create a range of proof-of-concept products.

It also successfully formed stable emulsion gel matrices from its modified lupin protein concentrate that can be used as a base material for plant-based meat products and said further development is underway to create a plant-based burger for taste and nutritional testing.

The company launched plant-based protein balls using standard lupin protein, which are now sold through its Dirty Clean Food network, and testing confirmed that the modified lupin protein concentrate can also become an instantly soluble powder to create a protein supplement for sports drinks.

The board has recently approved a fully funded budget of $1.6 million to purchase food processing equipment and construct an in-house, pilot modified lupin protein manufacturing facility in Western Australia.

Dirty Clean Food

Wide Open Agriculture saw sales grow by double-digit percentage rates in every channel under its Dirty Clean Food brand during the quarter. In particular, sales in the wholesale/food service and online channels each increased by more than 20%.

Sales of the company’s carbon-neutral and regenerative oat milk OatUP grew by more than 100% sequentially from a small base in the March quarter due to growth in WA as well as new distribution in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, and Singapore.

New products launched under the Dirty Clean Food brand included regenerative pork and an expanded line of regenerative oat-based products including porridge, granola and ice cream.

Expansion plans

Wide Open Agriculture has lined up new OatUP variations for launch in the December quarter including coffee and chocolate-flavoured oat milk drinks.

In addition to the planned launch of a national subscription program for OatUP, the company plans to expand distribution into multiple South East Asian countries.

Its focus for the current quarter also includes boosting the reach and depth of its plant and animal-based product ranges, as well as its delivery service, and introducing new products to complement existing products and offer complementary selling options.

Other priorities include optimising the modified lupin protein process and securing all equipment for the pilot plant, developing high-protein prototypes using this modified lupin and expanding regenerative lupin supply agreements.

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